Leave No One Behind
Words Wally Armstrong and Sean McDevitt | Photos Rory Schweighart
It’s a brotherhood only a select few completely understand. When they come together there’s few things that can stand in their way. When they come together to help one of their own, the brotherhood only gets stronger. Add in the radio control hobby and it’s like magic.
The radio control hobby is well-known for its camaraderie on the flight line, driver’s stand, and out on the trail. Lifelong friendships have been created through the power of holding a transmitter in your hand and flying or driving with others. The hobby emphasizes fun and focuses on a different kind of outdoor lifestyle.
With the fellowship comes a wide variety of groups who come together as often as possible to fly, race, or bash. One such group has taken the joy of radio control and applied it to their specific members. Operation 11 Charlie is a unique and growing non-profit veterans’ organization using radio control as a way to help veterans heal.
“THIS HOBBY SAVED MY LIFE.”
Javier Rivera-Saez is a disabled U.S. Army Iraq War veteran, medically discharged in 2014, who came home to incredible personal challenges.
On the group’s Facebook page, Rivera-Saez said, “As a disabled veteran, I have faced many battles during my military career. Battling with injuries and PTSD has been a true challenge for me… Usually, I am in and out of the hospital, and sometimes I have felt I have no purpose in life. Further, sometimes I felt I did not want to be alive at all. However, all that changed with the help of my family, friends, and this hobby.”
Rivera-Saez’s doctors suggested he take up a hobby to keep his thoughts focused in a positive direction. While visiting a Hobbytown store to buy RC gifts for his kids, he was surprised and impressed by the quality and variety of models available. He learned about the RC crawling category by watching…