Big Hugs and Big Smiles…

Early Sunday morning, February 20th, 49Bravo and I were in the air well before daybreak heading to Raliegh, NC, here is the reason why…


When Captain John was in the hospital on the 11th, I was reading comments to him that were left by so many of you all on the post I had made about his condition. He very much enjoyed this. During a pause, he looked at me and said… I sure wish I could see Connie and her mom again! Boy, did this get my attention!

Connie and her mom were past Angel Flight passengers we had last flown in October of 2018. The bond that we had from the very start after meeting them the first time was very special. Bonding with our passengers thru the years was very easy, and all of them etched a special place into our hearts. We had stayed in contact with Connie and her mom, even after flying them the last time, they were even planning to take a few days and travel to our area for a visit so they could meet our wives and thank them for allowing John and me to do what we do. Also, we were wanting to meet Connie’s husband, Ralph. Well, covid came along so those plans did not work out, but still, we stayed connected. Connie even talked to Captain John while he was in the hospital in Albuquerque, ending the conversation that maybe they could come to see us that October. With John’s condition, once we get home from NM, that did not work out either. So when John commented while in the hospital that he wished he could see Connie and her mom again, I knew that I had to make something happen!

I had been talking with Connie during this time keeping her updated on John’s condition, so when I told her what John had said about wishing to see them again, and what I had in mind, she and her mom were all for it!

So that’s is why I was in the air heading to Raliegh-Durham International on the early morning of the 20th… I was heading down to pick hem up!

That afternoon the smiles, the hugs, and some tears, as we all four were together again were just priceless… Captain John was so happy that this was able to be worked out. Thru the years Captain John would tell people that we got paid very well for doing Angel Flights, then he would continue by saying our pay was in Big Hugs and Big Smiles… and how true that was! With that in mind, I believe I could speak for all of us that day in the fact that with our hearts meeting once more, we all added to our wealth that is much more meaningful than silver or gold!

Connie and her mom also got to meet our wives and my family, and even though Connie’s husband could not come along, we got to meet him thru face time which was fantastic… Captain John held the phone and it was the next best thing to him being there.

The next day (Presidents Day) I flew Connie and her mom back home, it was very happy-sad, but the memories we made and the fact that our hearts were overflowing made it all good. As 49Bravo and I flew back home, thoughts and memories were flooding out all over the place, but the feeling of being able to make John’s wish come true gave me a warm feeling and a peace like no other.

Here is a link to our website “Wings Around America” documenting our last Angel Flight with Connie and her mom in October 2018… reading it, you will see the impact they had on us then.…/


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