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Guest APR10

Virtual Airline/Actual Friendship

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Guest APR10

As a member of Air PuertoRico (www.airpr.net), I have been privileged to get to know some truly remarkable people over the last couple of years, none more so than our Fleet Manager, Martin Ocando. My duties as Assistant Fleet Manager at APR have ensured that Martin and I have developed a strong friendship in a relatively short time, even though I am in the UK and he lives in Valencia, Venezuela. You can imagine how I felt when Martin wasn't online for a long spell recently, given the current political landscape in Venezuela. I had read that there were violent clashes in the capital Caracas, as well as many other major cities, including Valencia. It transpired that Martin had fled the city, fearing for the safety of his wife and five children. So now he's in a pretty tight spot - utterly broke and desperate to find a way out of his troubled homeland before things turn really sour. Now, as with most VAs, the majority of pilots and staff at APR have never met each other. Words like "brothers" and "family" are often bandied about in forum posts, although the true weight of these words has never been put to the test. Until now. I decided to set up a fund in order to get some much needed cash to our brother. Our founder and webmaster Efrain Ruiz set up a PayPal link on the homepage of the site last Friday and already we have managed to amass over $500! Not bad for a young VA with just 56 pilots on the roster. When the donation page closes on Wednesday, we expect this figure to reach $1000. This money will be wired to Martin by the end of this week, and will translate directly into food on the table. Further to this, APR members in the US, Canada and the UK have taken the first steps regarding asylum for the Ocando family. Rest assured that we will not give up until they are safely settled in a more stable environment. I hope this story has touched some of you. I for one will forever be changed by the incredible warmth, generosity and friendship shown by the people in the FS community toward one of their own. Long may this great hobby continue uniting great people from all around the world. Andy Ashwin [APR10]Assistant Fleet ManagerAir PuertoRicowww.airpr.net

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Guest Efrain_APR1

Andy,The events of the past few days has really demostrated that true friendships can still exist. It's not about having someone call you "friend" everytime they reply to your post, or pat you on the back when you post a nice screenshot. It's all about going that extra mile to provide in some way or another, relief to those that need it most. In this case, it is a fellow APR member who has been caught up in the middle of a civil crisis in his beloved country of Venezuela, and his immediate urgency is to protect his beautiful 5 children, his lovely wife and himself above all things.I also want to share my thoughts and say that I am very proud of the people that make up the AirPUERTORICO Family and those who have also contributed to this noble cause, who are not even part of the VA, but gave their humanitarian help without looking twice. To all these people, on behalf of the entire AirPUERTORICO Staff, I want to say THANK YOU and may God Bless you all!Efrain Ruiz, APR1Board MemberAirPUERTORICO Virtual Airlineshttp://www.airpr.net/tjsj_banner.jpg

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