Teens-N-Flight: Helping Kids Through Aviation
Wounded military veterans -- even those with wounds that aren't visible -- get far less attention than they deserve and their families get even less. Jack Howell, a retired Marine colonel, is actively doing something about that. He's established a non-profit called Teens-N-Flight whose sole goal is to offer cost-free flight training to the children of soldiers killed or wounded in combat.
In an interview at Sun 'n Fun last week, Howell told us the country has been slow to recognize that post traumatic stress disorder doesn't affect just the military members themselves, but also the families and especially the children. "I really want to use aviation as a conduit for these kids to help them overcome their PTSD," Howell says. "The wizards in Congress have finally acknowledged that the entire family suffers from PTSD, but there's no funding to do anything. Well, I'm not waiting. I've been doing this five years now," he adds.
As a 501(C)3, Howell runs the organization entirely on donations, including his own funding. Howell has training sites at three locations: Colorado Springs, Jacksonville and Palm Coast in Florida. Teen-N-Flight finds candidates through schools and service organizations.