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Angel Flight helps make medical care accessible to veterans

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) — Veteran’s Cafe serves up all kinds of food and all kinds of stories.

But on Wednesday, a handful of veterans not only shared their experiences – they also heard about the Angel flight.

“It allows people who are in financial need to get the best medical care,” said Jeffrey Heal, a retired pilot.

The Angel Flight was launched at Atlanta’s DeKalb-Peachtree Airport nearly 40 years ago and serves patients from Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee .

The organization recorded 3,500 flights last year, taking patients to treatments, surgeries and other medical appointments.

While medical care isn’t always around the corner, Angel Flight helps veterans get to faraway destinations for free.

Bobby Tyner, a retired combat demolition engineer with the 53rd, said he saw many angel flights and remarked how beautiful it was to see comrades flying.

“It’s something that I’m happy and very happy to learn that if I need to and it’s very possible that I have to do it because I’m a victim of Agent Orange,” Tyner said, who is also a representative on the Orange Heart Medal Board of Directors. Foundation. “I am a survivor, but I still have problems.”

The team’s pilots volunteer with their own planes, their own fuel, and dedicate their time to showing veterans they care.

Fly for Angel flight soarspilots must complete at least 250 pilot-in-command hours as well as an instrument flight rating.

Most flights are conducted in a single-engine, four-seat aircraft and are within 300 to 400 miles of the pilot’s base airport.

“The last flight I flew, we took the wife of an Army helicopter pilot home to her home in southern Alabama. She suffered a broken bone and spent some time at the Shepard Spinal Center in Atlanta. It’s very satisfying to see people improve their health,” Heal said.

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