You can donate your frequent flyer miles to Operation Hero Miles.
News 25's Jenny Li shows us what that is, and how it's making a difference.
Almost a year after a roadside bomb hit Sgt. Tyler Ziegel, he returned home to Metamora.
Ziegel suffered third degree burns on his face, head and arms, a broken jaw, shrapnel to the brain and lost vision in his right eye.
His recovery was miraculous, and Ziegel said having his family there every step of the way was crucial.
"Without family, there, I don't know what I would've done."
Operation Hero Miles is a national program, which provides free airline tickets to families of injured military men and women.
The day after Ziegel was taken to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, the program flew his parents, brother and fiancß© to his bedside so they could be there when their marine woke up.
Lt. Governor Pat Quinn said more than a hundred families in Illinois can tell a similar story.
"It's so important, doctors and nurses would tell you, to have your loved ones nearby."
An average round trip uses 40,000 frequent flyer miles. To date, the program has given away 6,000 round trip tickets, worth more than 7 million dollars to families of wounded service members.
Along with taking the time to promote Operation Hero Miles, Sgt. Ziegel is preparing for a wedding.
Ziegel said, "Me and Renee are just slowing but surely moving back into the house and getting things back to normal. And all those things I said I'd do later, well, now is later so I can be pretty busy all day if I need to."
Ziegel said he will have one more surgery to try to restore vision in his right eye.
Aside from that, he's looking forward to married life.
"Holidays, birthdays & anniversaries have been celebrated with tears and smiles with people who truly understand what the other person is experiencing."
- Kamryn Jaroszewski