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Fundraiser helps fund vacations for redeploying soldiers
Operation ReConnect

SAVANNAH — Two men hope to paramotor (fly under parachute wings with a fan strapped to their backs) from Savannah to the Florida Keys to raise money for combat veteran-run charity Operation ReConnect.

The goal of the seven-day journey, called “Freedom Flight,” is to raise $150,000 for the 501(c)(3) nonprofit that gives vacations to returning troops and their families.

“We’re thrilled to be doing something so adventurous and engaging to raise awareness and funds for our combat veterans,” Ryan Charrier, founder and president of Operation ReConnect, said.

Charrier, who currently serves in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, founded Operation ReConnect when he was serving in Afghanistan after talking to another soldier who said he had never been able to take his family on a vacation.

“From my base in Afghanistan, I made all of the necessary arrangements for this soldier and his family to enjoy a free vacation when he returned home,” Charrier said.

Operation ReConnect was born.

Within five months, Charrier said the charity provided trips to 33 families, providing accommodations, meals and activities free.

Brady King and Curtis Williams will take off Sunday from Savannah, landing periodically at military bases on the trip.

Williams, a trustee and adviser to Operation ReConnect, said, “We’re hoping to raise as much money and awareness for Operation ReConnect as possible.”

The journey will culminate in the Florida Keys on March 26. If you want to donate, go to

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