Qatar Airways and the Qatar-America Institute together donated two round-trip business class tickets to Doha to Luke’s Wings – a nonprofit dedicated to supporting wounded American veterans and their families. Luke’s Wings is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that arranges flights for wounded veterans and their families. The tickets were the highest bid-on item at the silent auction at Luke’s Wings’ annual Heroes Gala.
Luke’s Wings was founded in 2008 after Sarah Wingfeld, a Redskins Cheerleader Ambassador, visited Walter Reed Medical Center. She met Luke Shirley, a double amputee recovering away from most of his loved ones. Seeing how quickly his demeanor changed when his mom walked in, she realized the impact loved ones have in supporting soldiers’ recovery.
Sarah and Luke’s Wings co-founder Fletcher Gill learned the US government only provides three flights for loved ones to be present upon initial injury, after which families must finance their own transportation to medical centers. Luke’s Wings – named after Luke Shirley and Sarah Wingfeld – was established to raise money so families could visit their loved ones at Walter Reed.
In 2012, Luke’s Wings secured enough funding to hire three full-time workers, allowing it to expand its work across the country. Today, Luke’s Wings serves military medical facilities, VA medical centers, and hospice facilities across the United States and has provided airfare for families internationally and across all 50 states.