2006-12-22 / Community

‘Hero Miles’ Benefit Wounded Soldiers

Senator Malcolm Smith is encouraging residents to donate unused frequent flier miles to help armed service personnel and their families this holiday season through the “Hero Miles” program.

Through the donation of unused miles, military men and women wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan can fly home after treatment, or have their families visit them while they are recuperating.

“This time of year, we naturally turn to thoughts of home and family,” Senator Smith said. “For the men and women of our armed forces who were wounded or injured in combat, being away from home can be incredibly 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 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 dollars. Participating airlines include AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Continental, Delta, Midwest Airlines, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways. For information on how to donate, 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, treatment or surgery can substitute the human touch that families provide,” Senator Smith 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 woman and their families have a happy holiday season?”

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