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On Monday, September 17th, 2018, Luke’s Wings received a call from the sister of U.S. Army Veteran Terry K., after learning her brother only had weeks to live. Terry joined the Army in 1968 and served in Korea, before being honorably discharged. In 2008, after several different career paths, he began to volunteer at his local VA Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he found his passion in helping veterans. From passion came purpose as he served as Chairman of the Ann Arbor Veteran’s Council and remained active in the local veteran community.
In August of 2018, Terry was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and was quickly transitioned to a VA Hospice Center for his final days. When she first learned of her brother’s declining health in September, Kathy used her emergency funds to rush to his side. However, as with many, she was unable to afford flights for the rest of her family; including her husband who was home in New Jersey and her son and daughter-in-law who lived in Seattle. When the doctors told her that their family should prepare to say their final goodbyes, she called Luke’s Wings for help. Through our Veterans in Hospice Care program, we were able to purchase emergency flights for her husband, son, and daughter-in-law to be present in Terry’s final days. Kathy’s husband, Bruce, was on a flight within 24 hours and the rest of the family arrived shortly thereafter. On Monday, September 24th, Terry passed away at the VA Hospital in Ann Arbor, surrounded by his loving family. Kathy writes:
“In August we received a phone call that Terry had stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Soon Terry had to move into the VA hospice care, and then we were told that he may only have weeks to live. It was a sad time. Terry loved his family and we knew he would be encouraged if they could visit him. However, financially it didn’t seem possible for our family to fly to be with [him] and our cars are unreliable to make the trip. Then, someone gave me the phone number to Luke’s Wings, and I called them right away. They were kind, compassionate, and very helpful to provide (through their donors) a way for our family to fly to be together with Terry in his final days. It was the greatest gift to our veteran brother, and to us, to be able to be with him. He felt so loved and he knew he was not alone. We got to be there to hold his hand, to laugh and cry with him, to share favorite memories, to read God’s Word and pray and sing with him…even as he passed on into eternity to be with the Lord. Then we were there to help with his sweet daughter … and for his touching memorial service held at the VA hospital auditorium. We thank God for Luke’s Wings…for providing us flights to get our family together during the painful, yet precious time with our brother in VA hospice care. We highly recommend Luke’s Wings, and we are truly humbled and blessed by their gracious help in our time of need.”
Thank you to our supporters for allowing us to make these memories a reality for military families of all generations.
Total Value of Flights: $1,813