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From The Desk of The Editor

Altruism and Hope Always Intersect

Columnist and #1 New York Times bestselling author P.J. O’Rourke once said, “Everybody wants to save the Earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.” I chuckled at that quote, because in my mind I saw its direct parallel to the working world of career servants, such as those in EMS, fi refi ghting, police, and the armed forces. The indictment I interpreted in that quote is that people like the idea of doing good for the sake of humanity, but when it comes right down to it, only a select few are willing to actually do the dirty work required.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not being critical of those who aren’t altruistic in nature as it pertains to their career choice. Not everyone’s gifts are geared towards the service of others, especially when it comes to putting one’s body in harm’s way. As a Marine, former fi refi ghter, and former EMS pilot, I spent the fi rst 19 of my 31-year career in the service of others, but I don’t want to sound all “preachy” about it.

My only point is to remind those of us who receive the benefi ts of altruistic servants to be thankful for their desire to do some of the dirtiest work on the planet. Every day (not once or twice in a lifetime, but every day) these amazing people intentionally put themselves into the most dangerous situations and environments. They inject themselves into people’s lives at the lowest points, when people are most scared, most sick, and generally at their worst. They do this repeatedly to help someone in need, to make that person’s life better.

In this air medical issue, we focus on two international helicopter air ambulance (HAA) operations. One is Midlands Air Ambulance in the U.K., and the other is Ayiti Air Anbilans in Haiti. The two operations fl y very diff erent aircraft and mission profi les in contrasting operational environments. The common thread linking them together is that both are funded by charitable donations.

As it turns out, my wife, myself, and our 14-year-old daughter were already in Haiti as part of a missionary team doing development work. My wife, a career teacher, participated in teacher training conferences.

2 October 2015

My daughter worked in children’s ministry, while I taught business classes to entrepreneurs as part of a microfi nance program. While in Haiti, I decided to seek out a helicopter story at Ayiti Air Anbilans.

Working alongside the Haitian people within their culture allowed me to look at this HAA operation through more of a human interest lens, rather than just an operational one. Having been out of HAA and EMS for some time myself, the whole experience reminded me to be thankful for the dedicated and faithful servants working in these fi elds. It also reminded me of the hope they give to every life touched when their helicopter lands and they step out the door onto the real, everyday battlefi eld.

Lyn Burks, Editor In Chief

Publisher Brig Bearden Editor-In-Chief Lyn Burks Account Executive Teri Rivas Layout Design David Matuskey Online Accounts Manager Lynnette Burks Copy Editor

Rick Weatherford Social Media Guru Laura Lentz

Subscription / Circulation Manager Pam Fulmer

Contributing Writers Rick Adams James Careless

Randy Mains Brad McNally

Steve Goldsworthy Tim Pruitt Caterina Hessler Matt Johnson

Randy Rowles Scott Skola

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