Col. Howell's Worthy Cause
I just sent Jack Howell $100 and here's why you should, too.
I met Jack last week at Sun 'n Fun as I was walking the flight line. He had a modest little display with his vintage Cessna 150. As explained in this podcast what Jack Howell is doing is simple: He's raising money to provide free flight training for the children of military personnel who have been killed or wounded in combat. His idea—and I think it's the right one—is that these kids have PTSD every bit as intense and troubling as though they had been in combat themselves.
He's not doing this primarily to provide them career paths, although that might happen for some, nor is he doing it as a one-man effort to arrest pilot erosion, although that might be an effect, too. He's doing it because he envisions flight training as a form of therapy, a worthy and exciting goal for these distressed kids to right themselves and recover from their unseen wounds. When I was talking to him about this, the conversation vividly took me back to the first week of my flight training, as a 19-year-old teenager myself. I can still feel that excitement, even if my attitude toward the aviation industry itself might qualify as jaded.
I'm not normally enthusiastic about things like this, but with Jack, it's different. Here's one guy who's not waiting around for Congress or charities or NGOs or anyone else to help with a problem. He sees it; he sees a way to fix it. I wouldn't expect anything less of a retired Marine, which Jack Howell is. A little cash support is the least I can do.
Jack Howell can't fix the world. But he is fixing what he can with what he's got. Let's see if we can't give him a little more.
The contact info is Teens-in-Flight.com.