FORT WORTH, Texas, Nov. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Retired U.S. Army Capt. Ferris Butler and retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Adam Keys are the recipients of Lockheed Martin's inaugural Fighting Spirit Scholarship for wounded veterans.
The scholarship , presented in conjunction with the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Dec. 23, provides wounded veterans opportunities to learn to fly and sail through programs at nonprofit organizations Able Flight and Warrior Sailing Program. Able Flight selected Butler, a Chester, Maryland, resident who sustained severe lower leg injuries in Iraq in 2006 when struck by an improvised explosive device (IED). Butler, a double amputee, is the recipient of the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Medal. After successful completion of Able Flight's six-week flight school at Purdue University's Department of Aviation Technology, Butler will earn a pilot's license and call sign, and will receive his wings at the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh airshow in July 2017. "Lockheed Martin's support for the Able Flight program sets an important example of standing behind our military service members both in and out of uniform," Butler said. "It is very fitting that a firm that started in the aviation industry more than 100 years ago is now supporting veterans as they earn their very own pilot wings. By earning my wings, I will have an opportunity to find freedom from physical limitations as an amputee, while pursuing a new and very technical skillset." Warrior Sailing Program selected Keys, an Annapolis, Maryland resident injured in Afghanistan in 2010 after an IED detonated near his patrol vehicle. Keys, a triple amputee, is the recipient of the Purple Heart. After successful completion of Warrior Sailing Program's Basic and Advanced Training programs, Keys earns a nationally recognized Basic Keelboat Sailing Certification. "I am very proud and honored to be sponsored by Lockheed Martin, and I am excited to continue working with Warrior Sailing Program to complete advanced training," Keys said. "My wounds are not an obstacle to me, and Lockheed Martin and the Warrior Sailing Program are allowing me to prove it. Whatever your fight may be - just keep fighting."