Who are we?
Founded by three Marine Corps pilots in 2014, The Wingman Foundation is comprised of all active or former military members and family members who volunteer and look to assist families and units in their time of greatest need immediately following a Navy or Marine Corps aviation mishap.
Why do we help?
Naval aviation is a dangerous business. We feel that when the worst happens and families are in their time of greatest need, we need to be there to support those who have given their all to defend us and our country.
When do we help?
We assist in any Naval (Navy and Marine Corps) aviation-related mishap. This means any pilot, naval flight officer, maintainer, or ground crew member seriously injured or fatally wounded in the performance of their duties supporting Naval flight operations is eligible for assistance from The Wingman Foundation.
Where have we helped?
We have assisted in every fatal Naval aviation mishap since 2014. Some assistance has been minimal; for other mishaps, The Wingman Foundation has been the main source of help. Any assistance provided is based solely at the families’ and units’ requests.
How do we help?
When a mishap occurs, there are many unforeseen expenses and stressors which arise. The government assists in some matters, but there are several gaps. Each mishap is unique and therefore, we respond in unique ways depending on the needs and requests of the family and unit. We have assisted with travel arrangements for family and close friends, funeral expenses, and squadron memorials; physical memorials, set up scholarships in honor of fallen aviators; and in countless other ways.
If I donate, where does my money go?
In the immediate aftermath of a mishap, all money donated, through our mishap link, goes directly to support the family and unit affected. If you donate to the general fund at any other time, that money goes toward mishap expenditures in the event that the money raised for a specific mishap is insufficient. A small portion of the general funds covers some operating costs, such as outreach and travel. All “staff” work on a volunteer basis and are not paid.
What if I want to support in other ways?
We invite you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Share our posts and help spread the word about The Wingman Foundation. There are various events throughout the year, such as the Memorial Walk during May and endurance runs with sponsored athletes. We also partner with local businesses and organizations – for instance, things like Sing, Dance, Crawl – primarily in the San Diego area. We would love to see you there. If you have a unique way in which you’d like to support The Wingman Foundation, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.