January 29, 2013
F-22 Pilot Flies Boy's Letter 'Closer To Heaven'....
He wrote the letter on 'red construction paper', his dad's favorite color:
1/28/2013 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF RICHARDSON, Alaska (AFNS) -- MacAidan "Mac" Gallegos was only 5 when his father, Army Sgt. Justin Gallegos, was killed in Afghanistan in 2009. Not a day goes by that he doesn't think about him. On days like Jan. 24, his father's 31st birthday, he has found a special way to celebrate his birthday and honor his memory.God bless that dear child and his mother for finding a way to make this happen. Also a big thank you to Kyle Moxley of HAVE Alaska.
"I wanted to write my dad a letter and get it as close to heaven as possible," said Mac[...]
Helping American Veterans Experience Alaska, or HAVE Alaska, was stood up in 2010 by Moxley and his wife Carla to provide opportunities for Veterans to experience hunting and fishing excursions in Alaska.
A few emails and phone calls later Mac, his mother and his step-father, Army Master Sgt. Jeremy Marr, were meeting Senior Airman Jennifer Dunham, 90th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief who gave them a tour of the Raptor.
Before stepping to fly Lt. Col. Brian Baldwin, a Reserve F-22 pilot assigned to the 302nd Fighter Squadron, met Mac at his F-22 where the little boy handed over the letter to his father written on red construction paper, his dad's favorite color.
"It is an honor to fly with Mac's letter," said Baldwin. "His father gave the greatest sacrifice to our country and I am humbled to be able to do something for him and his family."