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Lexington company has new mission for veterans: Flying drones

Published: Apr. 2, 2021 at 9:48 PM EDT
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WINCHESTER, Ky. (WKYT) - A veteran-owned and operated company is giving back to those who served with drones.

Dynamic Drone Solution founder Dewayne Yarbrough, a retired U.S. Marine, said his company teaches veterans how to fly drones, so they can use the skill for a job to support themselves and their family.

“One thing I saw when I got out of the Marine Corps, and I had to learn how to walk again, and other things with my body, was that businesses were always talking about veteran-friendly this and that, so we saw that the veteran was the only one that didn’t get the actual, not bonus, but, just benefit,” he said.

He wanted to reverse the trend by designing a program that would give back to those who served.

He’s partnering with the Lady Veterans Connect home in Winchester to give veterans, including those actively serving, retired, transitioning and disabled, another opportunity.

“No matter if it’s a female, five [feet] tall, or if it’s a male seven [feet] tall, they would be able to perform the same mission,” Yarbrough said.

Lady Veterans Connect provides housing and other programs to female veterans.

“Restoring their self confidence is the first thing, and then work on financial literacy, job preparation……then we’re working on nutritional classes, yoga, art therapy, and our last program is restoring relationships with family members,” executive director and founder Phyllis Abbott said.

She and Yarbrough want veterans to feel valuable and have a sense of pride in themselves after their service. They said training these individuals how to fly drones empowers them.

“Being a part of a community, of not feeling that hopelessness after your career ended, when you wanted it to or not, and really utilizing the training we received, but in a way that doesn’t have to be as serious every day, doesn’t have to be so impactful on your body everyday,” Yarbrough said.

From April 26-May 21, the Lady Veterans Connect home will turn into a classroom. Students will be tested to earn their FAA license, and get hours of practice time in the fields outside the home.

Yarbrough said they can take their new skill set and do everything from videography, to pizza deliveries and more.

“[They can] do pipeline inspections, as well as, instead of utilizing our National Guard to check electric lines, they’re able to utilize drones, which have no carbon footprint at all,” he said.

30 spots are left for the training camp. The spaces are first come, first served. Sponsorships are also offered to companies wanting to support a veteran’s training.

Dynamic Drone Solution is also partnering with Lady Veterans Connect to expand its program.

“We are starting a campaign to raise funds to build units in the back for ladies who have children. They will be able to transition here in a safe environment, collecting their payments, making sure they’re going to their VA appointments,” Yarbrough said.

The Lady Veterans Connect home is currently taking applications for women who need housing. They can host six to eight women currently, with social distancing guidelines in place.

The home is hosting a yard sale open to the community on April 30 and May 1. Proceeds pay for the utilities at the center.

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