The journey has been exciting, challenging, heartwarming and heart breaking. Over 2,200 wounded military and cancer patients alike have taken a ride on TJA’s wings. Nearly $40 million dollars have been allocated thus far to the TJA cause. Yet, the list of those who need the support gets longer every day. “Four years ago I had the privilege to start flying with TJA. Now that we have reached the fourth year anniversary, I look back with gratitude. I truly feel honored to have been a part of the adventure. There have been challenges, but also countless rewards from the thousands of lives touched through Angel Flight and Wounded Veteran missions. The cockpit is the greatest office in the world and I look forward to the next four years.” Said TJA’s Chief Pilot, Gary Standifer.
TJA started with a Beechcraft King Air, flying their first mission with Grace Flight on August 29, 2010. Soon after, they were flying missions for Veterans Airlift Command, Mercy Medical Airlift, Angel Flight, Operation Comfort, Wounded Warriors, Patriot Outdoors Adventures , the San Antonio Military Medical Center, and the list goes on. Grant Jacobson and Gary Standifer have flown every mission together, a partnership that is more than just co-piloting. They have become personally invested in those lives they are helping. Today, the TJA fleet includes the Shiksa Goddess, a Citation X, the Blue Bell, a Bell Jet Ranger 206 B3, and the Mishegas, a Bell 429.
In the past four years, Angel Flight South Central has been an intricate partner to the TJA mission. Over half a million miles have been flown on TJA aircraft transporting medical patients around the country, in a safe comfortable setting that alleviates a little of the stress that these people face daily. Angel Flight SC worked with TJA tirelessly to ensure that as many missions possible could be flown weekly. “TJA has been instrumental in helping Angel Flight increase the number of missions flown each year. It is not often that an individual is willing to make it a daily commitment to fly patients in their personal aircraft, year round. Grant Jacobson turned his passion for flying into a full time job helping others and we are very grateful to be considered part of his team.” Said Tim Dammon President and CEO of Angel Flight SC.
Half way through their journey, TJA realized there was an enormous need by those in uniform who were injured protecting our country and brought home to little or no resources available to get to the medical and psychological care necessary. Additionally, their families who play a vital part in recovery don’t always have the financial means to get to them. From medical treatment and physical therapy, to life changing climbs and weekend workshops to help them acclimate into the next phase of their lives, TJA has made it a priority to provide the wings. “Operation Comfort is extremely grateful to Grant Jacobson for being so kind and generous in sharing what he has with others. Flying our wounded service members to places that they need to go and may not have the funds to get there is incredible. As an organization, the generosity that TJA extends to us is an incredible gift, and this gift comes from their heart. We deeply appreciate everything that they have done and continue to do.” Janis Roznowski, Founder & Executive Director, Operation Comfort.
What’s next for TJA? The sky’s the limit. TJA’s CEO Farrell Foley shares, “There is almost never a day goes by that Grant doesn’t put something on my desk to see if we can be of help. What I have learned firsthand from running this company is that everyone can do something every day to help someone else. It doesn’t have to be on a grand scale, but it does have to happen. TJA may be providing the wings, but anyone can call up any of the partners we work with and give within their means, and it will change someone’s life.”