NAS Lemoore AMA is a Non-profit 501c3 organization started to honor all aviators stationed at NAS Lemoore whom have gone before us and paid the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our Nation.
NAS Lemoore AMA was founded by LCDR Erik “Dook” Kenny and LCDR Ben “Julie” Charles, both stationed onboard Naval Air Station Lemoore. Our initial fundraising effort built a memorial dedicated to all aviators attached to NAS Lemoore who lost their lives. The memorial is a 7′ tall bronze statue that overlooks our main runway, 32L. The statue is surrounded by memorial grounds, filled with donor bricks of those who graciously donated to our cause. Erik and Ben, along with three local board members, Charlie Meyer, Travis Lopes, and Guy Brautigam, are now raising funds to support the families of loved ones lost in a tragedy during their time of need. We also hope to create a scholarship fund to always remind us of the brave aviators who are no longer with us.
Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, nor engraved stone bear record of their deeds, yet will their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored
NAS Lemoore lost more pilots (168) during Vietnam then any other base in the Navy.
CAPT Michael Estocin is the only Medal of Honor winner from NAS Lemoore. KIA April 26, 1967.
Erik was born in Peekskill, NY and graduated from the U.S, Naval Academy in 2002. After completing a Masters of Science degree in Business and Management from the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business, he began Navy flight school in Pensacola, FL in June 2003. By August 2005 he was designated a Naval Aviator and moved to NAS Lemoore, CA to begin flying the F/A-18 Hornet. He has completed three deployments, two of which were combat deployments in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. He is a graduate of the Naval Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) and has been assigned to VFA-25 “Fist of the Fleet”, VFA-125 “Rough Raiders”, VFA-122 “Flying Eagles”, VFA-151 “Vigilantes” and he is currently serving in VFA-14 “Tophatters”. He is married to Cristina Kenny and they have three children, Lucia, Sophia and Isabella.
Ben was born in Ocean City, NJ and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1999. He immediately moved to Pensacola, FL and began Naval Flight Officer training. Upon receiving his wings in February 2001 he moved to San Diego, CA where he was assigned to VS-38 “Red Griffins” and completed two combat cruises in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. In 2005 Ben received orders to pilot training in Kingsville, TX and was eventually designated a Naval Aviator in August 2006. Shortly after he moved NAS Lemoore and began flying the F/A-18 Super Hornet where he completed one combat cruise in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM with VFA-154 “Black Knights” and has been assigned to VFA-122 “Flying Eagles”, Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific where he completed his Masters of Business Administration from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2012. His next tour will be with Carrier Air Wing ELEVEN. He is married to Heidi Charles and they have two children, Avery and Gus.
Guy Brautigam was born & raised in Hanford, CA. He studied Business Management at Fresno Pacific University and Plant & Soil Science at California State University, Fresno. He is the owner/operator of an Agricultural Consulting business in central California where he advises on over forty different crops. Guy is an Eagle Scout and member of the Boy Scouts of America. He is a Reagan Advisor to both the FPU Sunbird Conservatives program and the American Principles Institute. He is a 2013 & 2014 Chairmen Member of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. He is married to Laura Brautigam and they have two daughters Mackenzie and Aspen.
Born and raised in Stratford, CA attended Lemoore High School. 4th generation farmer, farming Stratford, CA since 1910. President of Stratford Growers cotton gin. Director on the Downtown Merchants Board. Owner/partner in Farmer’s Fury. Director for the Aviator Memorial Association. Owner/partner for PerfectGems frozen fruit. Director for Ranchers Cotton Oil. Member of the cotton leadership program. Alternate for the state of California delegate for the National Cotton Council. Married to Nicole Meyer and they have two boys Brendan and Case.
Travis was born and raised in Lemoore, CA and continues to make it his home with his wife, Brooke, and four children; Haylee, Kaden, Kelen, and Brooklyn. He started his own landscaping business in 2000, and has expanded into commercial and residential landscaping. Travis also began a company with his wife and father-in-law, Lopes Land Co., pairing his wife’s real estate knowledge with his contracting skills. He also farms pistachios locally with G&L Pistachios and will expand into almonds….water permitting. Travis serves on the Island School Site Council, the Buchanan High Girls Soccer Board, and coaches youth soccer, baseball, and football in Lemoore.
NAS Lemoore opened in 1961 and has seen the A-1 Skyraider, A-7 Corsair, A-4 Skyhawk, F/A-18A-D Hornet and the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
VFA-41 Lady Aces Fundraiser Dinner Tuesday, April 5th!
The VFA-41 Lady Aces invite you to take a night off from cooking Tuesday, April 5th and enjoy a drive through, pre-cooked, hot and ready meal of deep pit beef, green beans, rice and a fresh roll! Meals are only $10 and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the NAS Lemoore Aviator Memorial Association!
Pick up your meal outside in the commissary parking lot Tuesday, April 5th between 4-7pm. Drinks and dessert will be available for purchase courtesy of VFA-41 FRG as well.
For tickets contact any VFA-41 Lady Ace or Brianne McCallister 559.309.1178
March 14th, 2015 Please join us for a Benefit Poker Tournament March 14th, 2015 Sign-up: starts at 2pm Cards fly at 3pm. Where: Willie O’s Barn 20072 Grangeville Blvd. Lemoore A $100 Donation gets you in the tournament. Winning prizes will be given out accordingly. *First place will be given an AMA Brick. **First 50 seats will go fast!! Call Willie O to RSVP 559-816-5000
Monday, May 25th Come join us on Memorial Day, at 1200 at the Aviator Memorial for a short wreath laying ceremony and moment of silence to remember the service members that have given the ultimate sacrifice.
Thank you so much to everyone who came out to support our cause, to all of the local businesses, restaurants, and vendors who donated raffle prizes, to Jeff the bartender and all of the staff over at the O’Club, and most importantly to the NAS Lemoore community for allowing us to put this fun event on again this year! What a great nite! Check out the facebook event here.
The memorial took 49 days to build. The statue was built by Dee Jay Bawden and Total Statue in Provo, UT.
If you are interested in donating, or helping build, plan, or promote our effort, please send us a message or call Ben at 361.816.1986 or Charlie 559.816.5114
To donate by check, please make payable to NAS LEMOORE AMA and send to PO Box 829 Lemoore, CA 93245. To donate via PayPal, send your donation to firstname.lastname@example.org or click the link below
- Donations of $250 will receive an engraved brick that will be part of the memorial
- Donations of $500 will receive an engraged brick with a logo that will be part of the memorial
For larger donations options please contact Ben at 361.816.1986 or Charlie 559.816.5114. For more information about our bricks and how to create yours, please click RIGHT HERE.
Over 2000 square feet of brick were laid in the memorial.
We would love to hear from you!
Contact NAS Lemoore AMA and we’ll get back to you shortly.