Retired Marine Corps Col. Jack Howell wanted to help the children of fallen soldiers and through the magic of aviation he has found a way. Teens-In-Flight is a program designed to provide flight scholarships to the teenagers of soldiers that were killed or severely disabled in the Gulf War, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I wanted to do something more to help the grieving families, Howell told AVweb. These scholarships will make flight training accessible to these kids and will encourage them to use their brainpower to succeed. The scholarships are also available to children from non-military families who are disadvantaged. The aircraft and instruction has so far been provided free of charge through the generosity of local instructors and flight schools but as the program expands, Howell told AVweb in a podcast interview, he’s looking for corporate sponsors. Anyone interested can contact Howell through the Teens-In-Flight Web site.
Currently there are programs established in Jacksonville, Fla., and Flagler County, Fla. A new program is expected to open in Colorado Springs through the help of A-Cent Aviation and Peak Aviation. The Colorado program will serve kids at nearby Fort Carson, which has also committed support to the project. By the end of the year another program is expected to open in Killeen, Texas, to support the families of nearby Fort Hood. Hundreds of flight hours have already been donated, and the program is still growing. Howell hopes that with more funding this program will expand nationwide. We can teach teenagers many lessons through aviation, said Howell.