Tag Archives: Veteran

Watertown Veteran Honor Flight

SkyWest Teams Serving Those Who Have Served

SkyWest teams provide impeccable service to hundreds of thousands of passengers every month, including veterans and active members of the military. This has provided a variety of opportunities to recognize them for their service and has sparked some unforgettable friendships. Here are just a few recent examples.

Navy SEAL Reunion

The following is from Marianne Seibert who was traveling with her husband on SkyWest-operated flights from Kansas City, Missouri (MCI) to San Diego, California (SAN).

We were traveling to San Diego for my husband’s Navy SEAL reunion. Once on board, we couldn’t believe how friendly and helpful the flight attendants, Grace Pakiser and Sandra Robb, were. They never sat down and were constantly checking on the needs of the passengers and having conversations with them. When it came our turn to tell the flight attendant about our travel plans, we told her about my husband being a Navy SEAL, how he graduated from SEAL Training in 1969 in SAN and that we were traveling back for his 50-year reunion. We weren’t sure if we would make it to the reunion because of my husband’s health problems, so we were very excited.

Later, we were exiting the plane and I thought my husband was right behind me. I turned around to see he was still in the aircraft talking to the pilot. The flight attendant had told the captain, Zack Brown, about our trip and he told my husband he lived near the reunion celebration. My husband invited him to attend but I thought there was no way he really would.

Zack came to the reunion! He was so engaging, likable and wonderful. He stayed with us for three hours and by the time he left, we invited him to our ranch this fall to help gather cattle. We made a real friend in Zack. I asked if he would be our pilot on the way back and he said he wasn’t sure, but he’d make sure we were taken care of.

We were the first to board the plane on our way home Monday. When we got on, the flight attendants, Stacy Gobert and Erin Galbraith, were expecting us. Zack had emailed them and told them to take good care of us. As the plane was taxiing, Stacy made an announcement that we were onboard, honoring us and congratulating John for his service and his 50th year SEAL team graduation celebration. After the clapping was over, and as we took off, a military band rendition of Anchors Away was played over the intercom. My husband and I looked at each other with tears in our eyes.

I wasn’t surprised about the great service we had on the flight back because of how excellent it was on the way there. Whenever I have a chance, I’m going to fly SkyWest.

Pilot with Navy SEAL

Honor Flight

In late September, SkyWest had the opportunity to welcome 35 Vietnam veterans and their family members onboard a new flight from Watertown, South Dakota (ATY) to Chicago (ORD) as they were making their way to Washington, D.C. Teams on the ground and in the flight deck did a great job making it a memorable trip, including red carpet treatment from the ATY airport operations agents and special announcements made by the flight crew.

The veterans were heading to the capitol in honor of their service and to visit monuments in the area. The special group consisted of veterans from South Dakota and Minnesota and, for many of them, it was their first flight since returning from the war.

Watertown Honor Flight

Utah Patriot Partner

SkyWest has been recognized by Utah Governor Gary Herbert as a Patriot Partner. The recognition is thanks to the work being done to extend priority considerations and enhanced hiring opportunities for the men and women of the armed forces. SkyWest is a proud military employer and is home to more than 1,600 men and women who have or are currently serving in the military.

Utah Patriot Partner

SkyWest team members do a great job every day to provide exceptional service and to recognize the men and women of our armed forces. Click here to learn more about how you can get started with our incredible team.

Honoring a WWII Hero

Layne Watson

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Corporate Communications Manager

Doolittle_RaiderNearly 75 years after the historic Doolittle Raider mission as part of WWII, SkyWest was honored to fly the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raiders, Lieutenant Colonel Dick Cole (age – 101), to attend the funeral service of a fellow Doolittle Raider. With a World War II hero on their flight, the SkyWest crew (CA Mike Spencer, FO Jeff Blaylock and FA Hayley Neves) ensured Lt. Col. Cole received the hero’s welcome he deserved.

“The entire crew went above and beyond to make this a special day for Lt. Col. Cole,” said Tracy Gallo – VP of Flight Ops. “That he was going to bury the last remaining member of his squad made the service even more meaningful.”

Left to Right, Front Row: Lt. Col. D.H. Doolittle; Lt. R.E. Cole. Back row: Lt. H.A. Potter; SSgt. F.A. Braemer; SSgt. P.J. Leonard

Lt. Col. Cole was part of one of  the most famous missions in U.S. military history when, on April 18, 1942,  he and 79 other brave members of the U.S. Air Force set out aboard 16 B-25B Mitchell medium bombers as part of  the United States’ response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Their mission, to bomb Japanese forces in Tokyo, was highly dangerous as their bombers were unable to land on the aircraft carrier they took off from.

Led by Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle, 15 of the bombers landed in China after carrying out there mission, where eight crewmembers were captured by Japanese soldiers. The other bomber landed in the Soviet Union, where the crew was interned for more than a year before being returned to the U.S. In total, the Doolittle Raiders lost 11 men on their mission. The remaining 69 heroes returned home to the U.S. With the passing of his friend, Lt. Col. Cole is the last living Doolittle Raider.

Doolittle RaidUpon learning that he would captain the flight carrying this special passenger, Captain Spencer made a quick trip to the local grocery store to pick up nine dozen donuts. The crew then met Lt. Col. Cole in the boarding area and escorted him to the aircraft and arranged for him to sit in row one. After boarding was complete, the donuts were passed out to passengers as Captain Spencer read the story of the Doolittle Raiders over the intercom. The cabin was quick to give Lt. Col. Cole a huge round of applause.

Lt. Col. Cole continued to receive the VIP treatment throughout the duration of his flight to MSO, where he was again escorted by the crew. As we celebrate the birth of the United States this Independence Day weekend, a special thanks to Lt. Col. Cole and all those who have served and continue to preserve our freedoms. At SkyWest, we proudly support more than 1,000 active or retired military members across our operation.

Our crew Mike, Jeff and Hayley are another great example of SkyWest’s unique culture where 11,600+ employees are continually going out of their way to make a difference for their passengers. To learn more about working at SkyWest, visit www.skywest.com/careers .

Read more stories about SkyWest People Making a Difference!

Standing Quietly: A Salute to Veterans

Justin Giles
Corporate Communications Coordinator

SkyWest is home to more than 950 veterans who have or are currently serving in the United States military, and thousands of other employees have family members who proudly represent the U.S. through their military service. So it should be no surprise that these 10,000+ aviation professionals are committed to showing their support for veterans.

In fact, Jonathan Walker, a Salt Lake City-based pilot, decided last Veterans Day that he was going to do something a little different to support his fellow veterans.

Veterans Day 2014

Veterans Day 2014

“Veterans stand all around us, and I believe it is everyone’s patriotic duty to show them how appreciated they are,” Jonathan said.

And so, adorned in his uniform and equipped with the stars and stripes, Jonathan took a quiet stand on a bridge overlooking I-15 (also called the Veterans Memorial Highway) in Lehi, Utah. Passing motorists were immediately touched by his anonymous display of patriotism and respect. Many called local news stations or posted his picture on social media sites to remind others of the sacrifice so many men and women have made. His story quickly gained national attention and his identity was eventually revealed.

Jonathan has now taken that attention and is using it to expand his efforts to stand quietly on more than just Veterans Day. This past Memorial Day, in fact, Jonathan, along with several additional SkyWest employees and others, will be positioned on various I-15 overpasses as a tribute to those who have and are serving in the armed forces.

Jonathan has also been working to establish similar events in other locations around the country. He has posted additional information about the initiative on standingquietly.com.

SkyWest is proud of team members like Jonathan and so many others around the country who make an incredible impact on those they live and work with.