How a direct flight from San Antonio to DC could help the military

Team working for years on creating flight talks about benefits for active duty, veterans

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio hosts the largest joint base in the Department of Defense.

Joint Base San Antonio supports 266 mission partners and employs 82,000 active duty members and civilian employees.

Many of those positions connect with leaders in Washington, D.C., so Mayor Ron Nirenberg said a lot of money and effort is being spent on travel to that city.

“Alone with the military connections that are made each day between San Antonio and DCA, our military and its partners would save over 500,000 man hours each year, " Nirenberg said at a press conference Monday.

Maj. Gen. Juan Ayala said this flight is essential to our national defense and more important now than ever.

“We’ve grown by quite a bit and number of troops in a number of units, and I think we will continue to grow,” Ayala said.

It’s not just about active military; the flight would affect veterans too.

Think about the honor flights every year that take war veterans to D.C. for the trip of a lifetime.

“It is difficult sometimes without the direct flight, flying into Baltimore. Then we have to bus into D.C.,” said Honor Flight Vice Chairman Court Van Strickland.

Strickland said this direct flight would allow those heroes to spend more time in D.C.

“It would say about two hours a trip for us and a lot of money, buses, meals,” Strickland said.

The military representatives involved in the years-long effort to secure this flight said it was long overdue.

Now, there’s only one more step before this flight is approved, and that’s in the community’s hands.

They are going to be looking at public comment, so anyone who wants to can get on the Department of Transportation’s website and leave a message in favor of the flight.

About the Authors

Courtney Friedman anchors KSAT’s weekend evening shows and reports during the week. Her ongoing Loving in Fear series confronts Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She joined KSAT in 2014 and is proud to call the SA and South Texas community home. She came to San Antonio from KYTX CBS 19 in Tyler, where she also anchored & reported.

Before starting at KSAT in August 2011, Ken was a news photographer at KENS. Before that he was a news photographer at KVDA TV in San Antonio. Ken graduated from San Antonio College with an associate's degree in Radio, TV and Film. Ken has won a Sun Coast Emmy and four Lone Star Emmys. Ken has been in the TV industry since 1994.

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