Do you have more frequent flier miles than you know what to do with? State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) is encouraging you to donate those unused miles to help our armed service personnel and their families this holiday season.
"This time of year, we naturally turn to thoughts of home and family," Senator Oppenheimer said. "For the men and women of our armed forces who were wounded or injured in combat, being away from home can be difficult. If you have air miles that you possibly cannot use up, you can make a wonderful testament to the spirit of giving by offering those miles to soldiers and families who want to reunite with their loved ones."
The Westchester lawmaker referred to a program called Hero Miles, in which airline passengers donate their unused miles, making it possible for military men and women wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan to fly home after their treatment, or for their families to visit them while they are recuperating.
"Recently, we observed the 65th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor," said Senator Oppenheimer. "As we continue to remember the sacrifices made by ‘The Greatest Generation,’ we must not forget the sacrifices made by this generation, including those from this district who answered the call to serve. While nothing we do could possibly repay that debt in full, something as simple as donating unneeded frequent flier miles can bring military families together for the holidays and any other time of year."
The Hero Miles program is administered by Fisher House, a nonprofit organization that helps wounded soldiers and their families by providing "comfort homes" that allows families to be closer to a loved one during their time of need.
Since its inception in 2004, Hero Miles has provided nearly 7,500 tickets to hospitalized service members and their families, worth more than $10 million. Participating airlines include AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Midwest Airlines, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines, and US Airways. For information on how to donate, please visit www.fisherhouse.org and click on "Hero Miles."
"While medical advancements have helped our wounded soldiers return to normal lives, I know that no medicine, no treatment, no surgery can substitute for the human touch that families provide," Senator Oppenheimer said. "I also know that my constituents are some of the kindest people in New York, always ready to help someone in need. What better way to show that generous streak than by helping servicemen and women and their families have a happy holiday season?"