Make-A-Wish children get up close with Thunderbirds

With more than 400,000 attendants and participants at the air show, several Make-A-Wish children and their families got the opportunity to experience an exclusive Thunderbirds “Practice Show” earlier in the week.

Make-A-Wish Foundation and Hill Air Force Base hosted the special event to give local children with life-threatening medical conditions a rare chance to witness the grace and glory of the Air Force.

“I love the part where we get to go out, go into communities, introduce different people to what the air force is all about,” said Thunderbird Major Caroline Jensen about the special event on Friday, June 27.

After the demonstration, the kids and their families had the opportunity to join the Thunderbirds for special interviews, autographs and have their pictures taken with the pilots.

“It (the airshow) is a really good, family-friendly way to entertain and bring people together,” said Jensen.

The children and families were also invited back to the air show on June 28 and 29 to experience all the performances, static displays and stunt demonstrations of the “Warriors Over the Wasatch” air show.


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(Photo: Jamii Freston) Thunderbird pilot Dougherty shows Matthew Hopkins all the different planes in the Air Force.
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(Photo: Jamii Freston) Thunderbird Major Curtis Dougherty gives Matthew Hopkins his autograph.


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(Photo: Jamii Freston) Make-A-Wish children meet with Thunderbird Major Caroline Jensen.
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(Photo: Jamii Freston) Thunderbird Kristina Overton reaches out to Make-A-Wish children at the Thunderbird practice show.