By Sara Berry at the Navy SEAL Foundation

The Navy SEAL Foundation presented American Aero FTW with a commemorative plaque “in appreciation and recognition of exemplary leadership and steadfast support for U.S. Navy SEALS and their families.” For the ninth consecutive year, the Fort Worth fixed-base operator (FBO) serving private aviation travelers at Fort Worth Meacham International Airport has made a sizeable donation to the Navy SEAL Foundation (NSF) and continues to fund a popular scholarship it helped establish in 2017, which supports pilot certification for active duty and veteran SEALs and Special Warfare Combat Crewmen (SWCC).

As part of its commitment to veterans and military service members, American Aero presented the Navy SEAL Foundation with its 2022 donation, a check for $18,875 funded by a portion of fuel sales. That brings the FBO’s total contributions to $170,000.

Over the years, the Navy SEAL Foundation pilot certification scholarship has gained popularity among active duty and veteran SEALs. The offering has been expanded by the foundation, and this year alone, more than $61,000 in aviation-related scholarships have been awarded.

“The aviation industry is facing a severe pilot shortage, and who better to step into those roles than the unique breed of men and women who have served our country as SEAL team members,” said Bob Agostino, American Aero vice president. “American Aero’s annual contribution to the Navy SEAL Foundation is just one way we support those willing to make whatever sacrifice necessary to preserve our freedom and safety; therefore, we are honored to create opportunities for our best and brightest to join the aviation community.”

The scholarship program allows SEAL recipients to pursue educational programs for certifications such as FAA Rotary Wing Pilot Commercial Add-on, Rotorcraft-Helicopter Private Pilot, and Commercial Pilot Aviation Instrument Rating certifications.
“I was over the moon when I checked my email and saw I was awarded $4,000 for the NSF scholarship!” said one recipient (name withheld for confidentiality).

“Since medically retiring, I have been utilizing VA benefits to go to college and attend flight school as I work toward a new aviation career. The catch is, getting a job in aviation is all about how much flight time you have, and flight school only provides about a third of the time needed before I can apply for a good job,” he said. “The funds provided will cover a significant amount of flight time and training, which will get me that much closer to getting paid for flying bigger, faster airplanes.

“Thank you to American Aero, and especially American Aero’s loyal patrons, for supporting our transitioning warriors with this incredible aviation scholarship initiative,” said Robin King, NSF’s chief executive officer. “By helping transitioning NSW members as they work to enter the aviation industry, American Aero’s investment benefits not only the individual but the family, community, and our nation at large. We look forward to continuing our programmatic partnership and assisting more transitioning SEALs as they continue their careers in the civilian sector.”