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Veterans Holiday Airlift

Imagine 34 small aircraft loaded with over 15,000 lbs of food and toys lined up at the Centennial Airport waiting to take off to 14 locations around the state to deliver their precious cargo to over 1,000 veteran families. Now imagine 30+ volunteers including VFW members loading the planes, and the pilots who donate the gas and plane rental out of their own pockets (expenses exceed $500 per plane). This is the Veterans Holiday Airlift. It is a collaboration between the State the Colorado VFW, Metro State University, various organizations, and the Colorado Aviation Business Association (C.A.B.A.). The Post donated $1,000 and the Auxiliary donated $500 to the project.

Rural communities look forward to the airlift every year and so do the pilots. The pilots ask to go back to the same communities year after year. Some communities have small parties or take the pilots to lunch when they arrive. The pilots are 20-30 years old and most are students at Metro State University.

Core members of the project include Post members Bill Costa and Ron Lattin. To prepare for the airlift, Ron Lattin works with local redistribution centers and local grocery stores to get items donated or at discounted prices.

The airlift is the State Commanders’ Special Project. Pete Buchanan, Chair and Past State Commander, is hoping younger VFW and auxiliary members join the core group to keep the project going. The airlift just completed its 8th year.

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