Soaring Armed Forces veterans flew through the iFLY wind tunnel in Tukwila Memorial Day weekend. The Military Resource Media partnered with iFLY to create an unforgettable experience for community veterans randomly selected after correctly answering trivia questions through our Facebook page. After sitting in on a physics lesson, the group of about 20 enjoyed a brief tutorial on how to handle the tunnel.
iFLY’s flight instructors joined each veteran in the tunnel, guiding them through the powerful, and “very loud” flight. It was the first time flying at iFLY for many of the veterans, including Kings County Veteran Consortium member Anthony Vincent, who brought a gaggle of his Kings County Veteran friends. Anthony had flown 11 times outside of the wind tunnel, but was very happy about the new experience. It was not the first time flying for Matt Hustead in a wind tunnel however. Hustead enjoyed a long career filled with jumps, and he has such prowess in it that he served in the Army Golden Knights for 5 years! The Golden Knights are the Army’s premiere parachutists, and Hustead toured with them as they put on shows around the country. He showed off some of his moves after getting back into the swing of things, and both the veterans at the event and the iFLY staff were cheering on his impressive skills.
Veteran and Wounded Warrior Mr. Kelley soared higher than most in his time in the wind tunnel. It was his second time flying at iFLY, but he felt that this time he had a better grasp on what to expect while he was in the tunnel. Kelley was joined by his wife and young daughter, who was able to experience the wind tunnel too! iFLY’s Darren Dos Santos hopes to put on another iFLY event specifically for wounded and disabled veterans, as iFLY promotes its ability let fly most anyone that wants to experience it.
Pizza and snacks were provided for the veterans after they left the tunnel and got to mingle in a private event room. Two veterans of the veterans formed a friendship that would lead them back to iFLY the next week! Another veteran was discussing how the event was therapeutic to her, as she was able to fly again after being injured flying while serving.
It was an incredibly gratifying experience for us here at the Military Resource Media, and we can’t wait to provide an enjoyable event for those who’ve served our country again soon. Check out a short video detailing the event below.