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Patriot Wing delivers aid, happiness to Guatemala


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GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA -- An 11-member Westover crew flew 20 tons of humanitarian aid to this Central American city March 9.

The cargo included an ambulance, a bus, two pallets of corn and other medical supplies which were picked up from Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio and Joint  Base Charleston, S.C. 

Humanitarian aid missions, like these, are made possible by the Denton Amendment, a state department program that allows the Air Force to deliver donated humanitarian aid on a space-available basis worldwide. 

After a four-hour flight and some language hurtles on the way between the aircrew and host nation, a very crowded city appeared in the mountainous Guatemalan terrain. High rise buildings appeared to hug each other. Houses seemed to be on top of one another. Clothes lines draped the porches. 

The Westover Galaxy touched down on the 9,800-foot runway of La Aurora International Airport. Shortly after arrival, two large trucks, equipped with armed police, came to assist in the off-loading of the C-5's cargo. The Mission of Love volunteers shook hands and hugged each member of the Patriot Wing aircrew. Everyone broke out in applause.

"We were just so happy to see the crew and cargo," said Kathy Price, Mission of Love founder and director.