Native Vt. airman takes flight for wounded warriors - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Native Vt. airman takes flight for wounded warriors

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A Vermont native, who is now serving in the Air Force in Alaska, is preparing for his biggest flight yet.

Alex Mumley-Dupuis is a 21-year-old Air Force airman whose next mission will help out wounded warriors.

"This is a pilot log book ... a pilot’s diary or journal," said Alex.

The book contains highlights of Mumley-Dupuis' life, including his first solo flight when he was 16.

"In January 2009 I flew a Cessna 150 from Franklin County to Franklin County," said Alex.

Alex is home on leave and spending a lot of time right where he learned how to fly at the Franklin County Airport. Today he's checking over a plane for a short trip to visit a friend, but it's a longer trip next month that means so much to him.

"I'm a go getter. I like to do things and make a difference in other people's lives. That's how I came up with the one flight for warriors," said Alex.

The 21-year-old is joining 69-year-old Lee Griffin, an Air Force veteran, on a journey of a lifetime to raise money and awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project. It helps thousands of injured military members returning home from the current conflicts and provides assistance to their families.

The One Flight for Warriors begins in mid-July when Alex and Lee take off from Fairbanks, Alaska. It'll take them about five days to get to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the site of the largest aviation gathering in the country. A map of their path shows how they go from Alaska, through Canada and on to the lower 48. Alex says they're following the historic Alaskan Siberian route, but going in the opposite direction.

"Back in World War II, the United States government ferried B-17s and B-25s up through Canada into Alaska to Ladd Army Airfield in Fairbanks and from there they went on to Siberia to the Soviet Union to liberate the Nazi Germany," said Alex.

Donald Taylor is a World War II veteran and a man Alex credits with giving him the chance to fly in the first place.

"The young eagles number for Alex was 1,547," said Taylor.

Alex is a little taller than the day they met back when he was just a teenager. Don runs the Experimental Aircraft Association's Young Eagles Program in Franklin County.

"Because of that program I have a meaning of life, a direction, a sense of purpose," said Alex.

A purpose that has led him down a runway, first when he was just a teenager and now as an airman on a mission to help wounded warriors.

"That hour and a half really changed my life. I knew right then that I wanted to take flight and fly for the rest of my life," said Alex.

If you would like to donate to One Flight for Warriors click here.

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