Support for a fellow aviator suffering from "Lou Gerhig's disease" (ALS) was initiated by Kathryn and Bob Pardo. They raised funds by "selling" T-shirts with a picture of both men in a similar combat situation that has gained fame as "Pardo's Push." However, that act of kindness gave rise to far more than an electric wheelchair and handicap-equipped van - it inspired the members of the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association to exam the need of not only its aging members but all military-aviator families as well.
Since the formation of the Air Warrior Courage Foundation, we have found many situations in which, although "covered by insurance or MEDICARE," etc. military families have been faced with extra-ordinary medical expenses to take care of a particular illness, injury or disability. In many cases, the "coverage" was either insufficient or non-existent. Some recent examples are:
- Funding experimental cancer treatment of a retired-military spouse - that WORKED;
- Funding a health insurance policy and other living expenses for military family while the mother of several children was too ill to work and the father was in training for a new job that would eventually, following her untimely death, support the family;
- Funding the immediate purchase of a specifically engineered wheel-chair for a veteran aviator, experiencing severe muscle loss due to MS, until additional funds could be received from MEDICARE, the VA and other support services;
- Funding the purchase of a used wheel-chair that allowed a paraplegic veteran aviator, who had broken his back, to continue to "work" his family's horse ranch rather than be confined to travel within just his house;
- Funding the travel and lodging costs of a severely handicapped military dependent and his mother while he underwent necessary surgery to allow him to walk and, eventually, participate in our Therapeutic Riding Program;