Military News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pilot for a Day Program hosts Ian Straight

by Airman Ashley Williams
121st Air Refueling Wing

4/14/2015 - RICKENBACKER AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ohio -- Airmen with the 121st Air Refueling Wing here hosted a "new pilot" during their Pilot for a Day Program here March 19.

Ian Straight, a 12-year-old from Lancaster was chosen to participate in the program, which allows youth with chronic or life threatening illnesses the opportunity to enjoy a day of military experiences.

"This is our second one we've done and we try to do at least one every quarter," said Capt. Cassandra Seward, the wing executive officer with the 121st ARW. "We partner with Nationwide Children's Hospital and they allow us to bring a child over for a day. Usually, we try to pick someone who is either chronically or terminally ill, so they can spend the day out here at the base learning what we do and seeing what it would be like to be a pilot or an Airman for the day."

Ian was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in March 2013, and after four rounds of intensive chemotherapy he has been declared cancer free for more than a year.

"It was a rough road, but we've made it through a large part of it and we are so excited and thankful to move forward with the help of so many people," said Jenny Straight, Ian's mother.

During the day, Ian was able to participate in multiple activities such as wearing a flight suit, marshalling aircraft, touring the fire department and much more.

"Today was awesome, he got to be an honorary pilot for the day with the U.S. Air Force and we got to participate in all kinds of things," said Todd Straight, Ian's father. "We can't thank you guys enough for the experience and the memories we have from this."

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