On March 9th, 2017, two of The Wingman Foundation’s co-founders, Phil Duong and Jack Guevara, were invited to speaker at the Marine Corps Aviation Association’s monthly dinner at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Virginia. The event, attended by Navy and Marine Corps leaders and defense industry professionals, allowed us to share our story. Among those in attendance was Lieutenant General Jon “Dog” Davis, the Deputy Commandant for Aviation (the advisor to the Commandant of the Marine Corps on all matters relating to Aviation). Phil and Jack were able to get a brief presentation to the attendees prior to the event’s keynote speaker, Lieutenant Colonel Gregory “Sumo” Summa, the Commanding Officer of Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 (VMFAT-501). The talk was a great chance to engage an audience well connected to our issues and introduce ourselves to new pool of potential supporters and leaders of our cause.
“Chili” and “Donger” covered the brief history of our foundation, our mission to serve families during the post-mishap period and honor those sacrifices made in the years that pass, and gave examples of our impact. TWF has been able to support both squadrons and families of the fallen based off of the generous backing of supporters. “Chili” noted that what had started as an idea among three friends and fellow aviators has been able to touch the lives of many people across the globe. Their short talk explained that all of our staff are volunteers, giving our time and experience, in order to ensure that we “Never Leave a Wingman Behind.”
At the closing of their presentation, they we met with a standing ovation. We at TWF know that it is our supporters that have enabled us to touch so many people and it is our honor to carry out our mission.