“Wings of Appreciation” flies disabled veterans over Smith Mountain Lake

Volunteer pilots took veterans with PTSD on a flight

By Rob Manch

A new program in the Roanoke Valley takes veteran appreciation to new heights.

Volunteer pilots donated their time to disabled veterans Saturday through the Wings of Appreciation program, which teaches them about aviation from more than 2,000 feet up.

Thirteen pilots started their engines Saturday morning, flying from Roanoke to Smith Mountain Lake to give a group of 17 veterans the rides of their lives. It’s something veteran squadron leader Marvin Johnson has never done before.

“Just a great appreciation coming from a veteran going to the pilots that take their time out to give an opportunity to us veterans,” Johnson said.

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