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ChapterGram: April 2013

Chapter 123 Helps 'Homes for Our Troops'


Members of Bay Area Recreational Flyers present a check to the Thompson family that will be used to help provide them with a new home.

Anthony's son, AJ
Anthony's son, AJ, prepares for his first flight in a powered parachute.

By Lowell Henderson, President of EAA Chapter 123

Giving back to the community is one of the most fulfilling things a person can do. The Bay Area Recreational Flyers, EAA Chapter 123, in Midland, Texas, did just that during our February 2013 meeting at Wharton Regional Airport. We chose to give our annual charity contribution to Homes for Our Troops (HFOT), a non-profit organization that raises donations of money, building materials, and labor to build new homes for severely injured veterans and their immediate families.

It was our honor to have Navy Corpsman HM2 Anthony "Doc" Thompson, his wife, Ivonne, and their son, AJ, come to our meeting. Ivonne told the complete story of Anthony's training as a corpsman in the Navy, their marriage, and getting pregnant before his second deployment to Iraq, where Anthony's life was forever changed when a bomb detonated under his post station. He spent nearly three years in various rehab hospitals before HFOT provided him with a permanent residence that would meet his special care needs.

We voted as a group to donate funds from our treasury and then raised a total contribution of $1,000 for the organization. We were sincerely touched by this remarkable story and by Ivonne's love for her husband and son. We were able to give AJ a ride on a powered parachute and a flight in a Cessna 172.

The events on that day reminded me of Dr. Benjamin Carson, an American neurosurgeon and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, saying, "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."

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