We teamed up with American Airlines to bring 17 very special families on an all-expenses-paid vacation from Washington D.C. to Walt Disney World in Florida. What makes these families so special is that they are military families, most of whom are patients at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.
While this is the first time that American has partnered with Disney on a trip dedicated solely to military service members battling illness, the American Airlines Team has linked up regularly with the Gary Sinise Foundation and USO-Metro to make dreams a reality for service members. Events include a similar trip for wounded, ill or hospitalized service members to Las Vegas, and flights for World War II veterans so they can visit the museum in New Orleans that pays tribute to them and their service.
Disney really pulled out all of the stops to ensure that these families, who are fighting the toughest battles of their lives, received VIP treatment from the moment they arrived until the time they left. While at Disney World, the families were treated to three nights at the exclusive Disney Beach Resort, all-inclusive Park Hopper passes, and VIP escorts around the parks with front-of-the-line privileges.
I have to tell you the best part of this whole trip for those of us who had the honor to be there, was getting to spend time getting to know these amazing families. So many of them have been dealt with significant hardships. Their strength and determination is astonishing and inspiring.
Hear from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Clinical Social Work Case Manager Case Manager, Sonja Chestnut, as she discusses the impact of this trip.
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