Streamed live on June 10, 2024

We welcome husband and wife duo, Randy and Jackie Kluj, who share their extraordinary journeys from Army helicopter cockpits to their work with Creek and Timber Legacy nonprofit. The Klujs bring a unique perspective on service, resilience, and the healing power of nature.

Randy Kluj, a native of northern Maine, grew up with a profound love for the outdoors, spending his childhood hunting, fishing, and exploring the wilderness. His passion for aviation led him to Norwich University, and upon graduation, he joined the U.S. Army to pursue flight school. Randy’s military career saw him piloting the AH-64D Apache Longbow. Over a decade of service, Randy distinguished himself as an instructor pilot and completed multiple deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Today, Randy continues to fly as a civilian medevac pilot in Western Pennsylvania, where he lives with Jackie.

Jackie Bechdel Kluj’s roots are firmly planted in western Pennsylvania. She enlisted in the Army Reserves through ROTC in 2001. By 2003, she had earned her commission as a 2LT and was on her way to flight school at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Graduating with honors in 2005, Jackie specialized in flying the UH-60 Black Hawk. Her career highlights include serving as a platoon leader and battle captain during her deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, KFOR8 in Kosovo. Jackie’s leadership and innovative training exercises were recognized in the Army Times, showcasing her dedication and skill. She was honorably discharged in 2011, but her commitment to service never wavered.

In 2019, Randy and Jackie channeled their shared love for the outdoors and their dedication to helping others into founding Creek and Timber Legacy. This nonprofit organization aims to enrich the lives of veterans, first responders, and children with serious illnesses through immersive outdoor experiences. By partnering with various organizations and individuals, Creek and Timber Legacy provides hunting, firearm therapy, and outdoor learning opportunities, promoting emotional well-being and a renewed sense of energy.

We’re grateful to UPMC for Life and Tobacco Free Adagio Health for sponsoring this event!