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Family is the Best Medicine

United helps offer aid to the families of U.S. service members

Author Jennifer Baker


For more than 10 years, United and its customers have connected wounded, injured and ill U.S. service members seeking medical treatment with their loved ones.

Nothing is more comforting than having the support of family when you are sick. Charley Young knows this firsthand. When he learned that his son, Staff Sergeant Jon Young, was fighting post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after serving in Iraq, he knew his son needed him, and fast.

“No matter how old or tough your son is, he’s still your son, and you want to be there with him,” Charley says.

That’s when a friend told him about Fisher House Foundation and its Hero Miles Program, which provides airline tickets purchased using donated miles to wounded, injured and ill service members—as well as their loved ones—who are undergoing treatment at a military or Veterans Affairs medical center. Thanks to the generosity of United’s customers, who had donated MileagePlus miles, Charley was able to fly via United from his home in Long Island, New York, to Honolulu, Hawaii, to join Jon for his emergency treatments at Tripler Army Medical Center.

“We couldn’t believe there was such a resource. With the support of United and Fisher House, I flew out first, and within 10 days our whole family was all together,” Charley says. “I don’t know if my son would have made it without us being there. We will always be thankful to those who donated their miles to help our family.”

Over the past 10 years, United customers have donated more than 600 million miles, providing more than 11,401 tickets, to these heroes and their families.

To find out more about Hero Miles or how you can be a hero to a hero and donate your miles, visit united.com/charitymiles.

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