Navy SEAL Foundation Recognizes American Aero FTW with its Highest Civilian Honor – The 2023 NSF Patriot Award
Fort Worth-based private aviation terminal recognized for more than a decade of donations, supporting scholarship opportunities for warriors interested in aviation
FORT WORTH, Texas (May 2, 2023) – The Navy SEAL Foundation (NSF) presented American Aero FTW, a fixed-base operator (FBO) at Meacham International Airport, with its highest civilian honor — the 2023 NSF Patriot Award — in recognition of years of financial contributions and support. The award ceremony was part of NSF’s inaugural Dallas Evening of Tribute benefit dinner on April 27. The event showcased the Foundation’s vital role in supporting the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) community, raised funds to support critical programs, and recognized the courage and sacrifices of warriors and their families.
Since it was founded in 2012, American Aero has donated more than $170,000 to NSF. In 2017, the Foundation began allocating American Aero’s contributions toward aviation-related scholarships with the goal of helping active duty and veteran SEALs and Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen (SWCC) realize their dream of flying. In that time, NSF has provided eighty-six scholarships and grants totaling nearly $300,000 to fund pilot training and certifications.
“The Navy SEAL Foundation provides invaluable resources to warriors and their families, and we are proud to play a small role in supporting these American patriots who risk their lives to ensure our nation’s peace and prosperity,” said Bob Agostino, vice president of American Aero, who received the award along with Angela Thurmond, general manager of the FBO, on behalf of FBO founders, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass.
The NSF Patriot Award recognizes individuals, families, and organizations whose exceptional contributions to our country exemplify the values of the U.S. Navy SEAL community. This is the first time the award has been given in Texas.
The scholarship fund allows active duty and veteran SEALs 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. American Aero’s annual donations to support the program are funded by a portion of fuel sales.
A veteran SEAL, who prefers to remain anonymous, said the scholarship allowed him to pursue a second career as a corporate pilot when 14 years of military service ended with a medical retirement.
“My time in service left me with a gunshot wound, a blast injury, a broken leg, and some worn-out joints,” he said. “After completing multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, it was time to move back home to be with family and pursue a new career. I suspected my skillsets learned as a special operator would transfer well into aviation. Obtaining my FAA medical certificate proved to be a time-consuming and expensive process, which exhausted our savings and then some. American Aero’s generous scholarship was the reason I could earn my private pilot licenses, a prerequisite to utilizing the GI Bill for further education and flight training.”
Robin King, NSF chief executive officer, said the scholarship is especially popular with a generation of warriors nearing retirement.
“By helping to transition NSW members as they work to enter the aviation industry, American Aero’s investment benefits the individual, the family, the community, and our nation at large,” King said. “We look forward to continuing our programmatic partnership and assisting more transitioning SEALs as they continue their careers in the civilian sector.”
“This is a deeply meaningful recognition for our team, as it demonstrates that our donations over the years have had a positive impact,” said Thurmond. “We are thrilled to play a role in turning dreams into reality, and we welcome the recipients of this scholarship into the wonderful world of aviation.”
The 2023 NSF Patriot Award comes on the heels of news that American Aero is once again ranked the #1 FBO in Texas and one of the best FBOs in the world in the recently released 2023 Aviation International News (AIN) Reader Survey.
About the Navy SEAL Foundation
The Navy SEAL Foundation (NSF) provides critical support for the warriors, veterans, and families of Naval Special Warfare (NSW) through a comprehensive set of over thirty programs under five Pillars of Support: Strength, Resilience, Health, Education, and Community. NSF is a high-performing organization committed to excellence. Charity Navigator has awarded it a 4-star rating since 2009 and a perfect score of “100” since 2014 for financial health, accountability, and transparency.
The Foundation ranks higher than 99.9% of over 195,000 charities nationwide, with ninety-three cents of every dollar donated directly funding its programs or being retained for future mission use. NSF is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit charitable organization with TAX ID 31- 1728910. It is not part of the Department of Defense or its components and has no official affiliation with any federal entities. To learn more, visit www.navysealfoundation.org.
About American Aero FTW
Founded in 2012, American Aero FTW is a fixed-base operator (FBO) located at Meacham International Airport (KFTW) in Fort Worth, Texas. The business is focused on refueling, ground handling, servicing, and storing of business and private aviation aircraft and provides extensive crew and passenger amenities. American Aero consistently ranks as one of the best FBOs in the world in the Aviation International News FBO Reader Survey. It is also one of only a handful of FBOs in the world to earn the industry’s highest safety certification—and has the longest history of IS-BAH (International Standard of Business Aircraft Handling) accreditation from the International Business Aviation Council. American Aero is an AvFuel branded and Signature Select™ affiliated FBO. It is the primary tenant and only FBO in the airport’s administration building and offers 300,000 square feet of leasable hangar and office space. More information can be found at www.AmericanAero.com.