Operation Freedom Bird

Operation Freedom Bird, is a non-profit, therapeutic program aimed at helping combat veterans, from all wars, continue the process to heal from their symptoms of PTSD and unresolved grief/loss. 

Channel 3 News: Non-Profit Still Needs Help to Assist Vets with PTSD

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Channel 12 News: Still Raising Money for This Year's Healing Journey!

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For nearly 30 years, Operation Freedom Bird has sent combat veterans to their war memorials in Washington, D.C. But this year they've run out of money.

The group is set to take 25 veterans to the nation's capital on Nov. 9 for Veterans Day, but needs $5,000 to rent the bus and buy food for the travelers.

"The men and women that we take it's a healing journey," said Pat Lynch, founder of Operation Freedom Bird, which has sent a group of Phoenix-area combat veterans to the capital to see memorials every year since 1988. "We go and talk about what we've done and the friends we've lost in the past."

Lynch is a Vietnam veteran who started the effort. Usually the nonprofit takes 50 veterans, but this year it had to cut that number in half.

"We're taking 25 because the funds are low," Lynch said. "We've been trying but it's been had raising monies."

For this trip, Southwest Airlines donated plane tickets, and they have enough money to put everyone up at a hotel for four nights, which still leaves bus fare and food in D.C. to cover.

"We have a credit card," said Lynch laughingly, hoping that it doesn't come to that.

If you would like to help, visit operationfreedombird.org for contact and donation information.