Patient AirLift Services reaches milestone

Patient AirLift Services (PALS), a nonprofit volunteer pilot organization, reached a major milestone July 22 when it completedits 1,000th charitable flight flying Afghanistan war veteran and double leg amputee Marine Corporal Jessie Fletcher from Boston to Baltimore.

PALS Pilot Don Catalano (left) is shown outside his Piper Meridian with Corporal Jessie Fletcher and girlfriend Emily, after completing Patient AirLift Services’ 1,000th charitable flight.

Corporal Fletcher, a Purple Heart Medal recipient who was wounded by an IED blast during his second deployment in Afghanistan, was being flown back to Baltimore where he receives treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He was flown by PALS volunteer pilot Don Catalano in his Piper Meridian. Don is also a veteran of the Army 7th Special Forces Group and feels a special connection to Corporal Fletcher and all service men and women that he refers to as his brothers-and- sisters-in-arms.

“That’s a big part of why I do this, “Catalano says. “I feel a special affinity to these young service members and appreciate what they have given for our country.”

Corporal Fletcher added: “It shows that the folks at Patient AirLift Services really do care, they’re just humanity at its best.”

Patient Airlift Services was formed in 2010 and arranges free air transportation for patients requiring medical care, as well as for other humanitarian purposes. When treatments require that they travel far from home and they cannot afford to fly commercially, or have a condition that prevents them from flying commercially PALS steps in to help with their transportation at no cost to the patient. PALS accepts flights for locations throughout the Northeastern United States.

For more information: PALServices.org, 888-818-1231

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