Air Compassion for Veterans

Saluting Is a Lifelong Theme

By suzanne rhodes on February 4, 2013
Guest blog by Ed Boyer

Edward R. Boyer is the CEO and President of Mercy Medical Airlift., which administers the ACV program.

“A salute is a gesture or other action used to display respect.  Salutes are primarily associated with armed forces, but other organizations and civil people also use salutes.”  (An official definition)  Throughout my life the salute has been a common theme—in my young years rendered to the flag daily in school or outside school when showing respect to military officers.  I was a young child during World War II.  I was in high school during the Korean War.  Civil Defense and the Cold War were then a daily reality. The salute again became a daily part of my life as an ROTC student in college.  Now, for me, the salute was fully within a military context. Later, receiving my Army Officer’s Commission marked the point where enlisted persons in the Army saluted me.  But, you see, they saluted me not because I was something special, whether they knew it or not; rather, they were saluting the commission I held signed by the Commander in Chief — representing the USA.  They were saluting our Commander in Chief and our country! So it is with today’s veterans and wounded warriors.  I salute them because they put their lives on the line in serving our country—the land of the free and the home of the brave.  My salute is to all veterans and the great land they have served. Your support and encouragement to the Air Compassion for Veterans program is your salute to this nation.  Through it you show respect and render loving service to these men and women who have fought in WW II, Korea, Vietnam and the ongoing War on Terror.  Through the years since MMA’s program start-up in 1972, serving veterans has been a constant and significant component of MMA operations.  The program name “Air Compassion for  Veterans” came into use and was trademarked in 2006. Since November 2006, MMA-ACV has transported over 32,000 wounded veterans, their adversely affected family members, and a whole lot of older veterans needing specialist care for more senior- related illness.  Now, in 2013, the numbers show that 62 percent of all patient transports provided by MMA serve veterans of all different ages.  The number is about 8,000 per year. Support from our faithful partner, the American Airlines Military and Veterans Initiative, from foundations, from civic clubs, churches and from giving friends like you–have made much of this possible and will keep the service available into the future as required. I salute all veterans, their families and all persons whose giving and support make the ACV program a success.  God Bless the United States of America!      
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