The Patriots have helped students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and their families make their way from Parkland, Fla., to Washington in advance of Saturday's “March for Our Lives” against gun violence.
Owner Robert Kraft on Thursday offered the use of the team plane after former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, herself a shooting victim in an assassination attempt, and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, reached out to him and asked for the favor, a Patriots spokesman told the Boston Globe.
Kelly told The Washington Post that he and his wife, who are vocal gun-control advocates, wanted to help the students get to the march.
"Not only did their friends and teachers get shot and killed, other friends shot and injured ... most of them they had bullets flying over their heads," he said. "This is not fair that they have to deal with something like this at their age. They wanted to go to Washington and be heard, and so I felt it was our obligation to help them."
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport posted photos of the travel party boarding the airplane, and the group will return to South Florida on the team plane after the march.