A St. Louis Park-based nonprofit that provides free air transportation for wounded Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans and their families is the beneficiary of presidential candidate Donald Trump’s largesse.
Veterans Airlift Command received a $100,000 donation from the Donald J. Trump Foundation several months ago, part of $5.6 million in donations to 41 veterans’ groups that the presumptive Republican nominee announced Tuesday.
It is the only Minnesota organization to receive a donation from Trump, who had come under pressure to account for his claims of donations to veterans groups.
Walt Fricke, founder of the organization, said Wednesday that he was grateful for the donation.
“It supports our mission of providing free private air transportation to our nation’s post-9/11 combat wounded for medical and other compassionate purposes,” he said.
Fricke said the organization doesn’t discuss its donors.
But he suspects Trump became aware of it through some of the combat-wounded veterans that it has served.
Veterans Airlift Command, which was founded in 2006, provides free air transportation for war veterans through a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots.
Among other recipients of the donations that Trump announced Tuesday is one that is under scrutiny by the Minnesota attorney general’s office.
The state last week filed suit against the fundraiser for the Michigan-based Foundation for American Veterans, accusing the fundraiser of engaging in deceptive marketing practices.
The lawsuit — filed against Associated Community Services and its affiliate, also based in Detroit — accused the company of sending false “pledge reminders” to donors and repeatedly calling potential donors, in one case 42 times in a four-month period.
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson said her office is continuing to investigate Foundation for American Veterans as well.