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Stories From Main Street: White Plains, NY

Veterans Airlift Command Logo

Veterans Airlift Command Logo

88adams Sean Adams
Do you have a minute? Turn up your radio and let me tell you a...
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WHITE PLAINS, NY (WCBS 880) - Gary Illiano from White Plains will be the first to tell you he leads a comfortable life.


WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reports

He’s a partner of the accounting firm of Grant Thornton.

He owns his own plane – a Cirrus 4-seater.

“One of the things I do in my spare time is I fly my plane as part of a volunteer network called the Veterans Airlift Command,” Illiano told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams.

On a volunteer mission this fall, he flew and Iraq war veteran from North Carolina to Allentown, Pennsylvania for the veteran’s best friend’s wedding.

Stories from Main Street - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

Stories from Main Street - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

RELATED: More Stories from Main Street

Illiano says it was “completely at my own expense. It’s a private aircraft for my pleasure. I don’t use it for business or anything like that. Fortunately, I have a job… as a partner in Grant Thornton, where I have some flexibility.”

LINK: Veterans Airlift Command

Illiano and Sgt. Scott Wallace flew on a sparkling day with a clear view of Washington, DC.

They talked about life, family, service, and sacrifice.

“I’m blessed with being able to afford this and it’s tough to put a price on Sgt. Wallace’s sacrifice. I mean, how can you do that? They guy nearly gave his life for us.”

Sgt. Wallace was profoundly touched.

“Mr. Illiano, I really did appreciate what you did for me and the fact that you do that for soldiers. It says a lot about a man and it’s appreciated,” said Sgt. Wallace.