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Dwayne Quick

“Never Quit”

Dwayne Paul Quick, 36, was born October 7th, 1986, in Del Rio, TX. His passions include flying vintage military aircrafts at air shows and music. Professionally, he is a pilot, but in his downtime, he gets into music production, singing, and playing instruments (he’s familiar with multiple). Quick is a fun, goofy guy who just wants to make his mark on the world and positively impact the people around him.

Dwayne’s parents, Paul and Carol, both served in the United States Air Force – his father as an aircraft mechanic and his mother as an aero-medical specialist – meaning Dwayne grew up as a military brat, always moving from place to place. But that wouldn’t stop him from doing well in school. His sophomore year in high school, he was nominated for a scholastic excellence award for math and science. He was drumline captain, team captain of the cross-country team, and the AFJROTC squadron commander at Avon Park High School Florida. So, clearly, he was able to excel regardless, thanks to a work ethic installed in him by his parents. Quick feels that his parents influenced his development in many ways, establishing strong military core values and an unwavering faith in him throughout his childhood and surrounding him with mentors who significantly impacted him. Mentors such as Colonel Alva Temple, the Tuskegee airman who would tell him stories and provide him with motivation and encouragement, and Lieutenant Colonel Taj Troy, who’d inspired him since the first time he’d read about him in a magazine all the way up until this day. Although now, Dwayne views him not only as an inspiration, but also as a friend.

Looking back over the entirety of his life, Quick considers his main achievement to be overcoming the obstacles that have attempted to block him from the cockpit. He had his life on the right track to become a military pilot, with things like an acceptance to the Air Force Academy and a selection for a fighter jet slot with a Texas Air National Guard in place, but, thanks to unfavorable medical situations, his tenure in military aviation came to an unfortunately early end. However, an event like this only formed in him a “never quit” attitude, making him determined to reach his goals and fly no matter the circumstance. So, he tried desperately for a waiver and review but was repeatedly shot down. 12 years later, Dwayne left the military and earned his wings as a commercial pilot. It was what he describes as the hardest time of his life because the military was all he knew. Even becoming a commercial pilot came with major difficulties – this time financially. He decided to take out a student loan, and even though the expenses made him question whether this was the right decision for him, still he persevered.

Outside of his life as a pilot, Dwayne had also spent three years as a youth pastor and county volunteer working with youth. He spent another four years as a certified flight instructor, teaching about how to become a commercial aviator and military pilot in six different countries! In 2020, he founded the 3/32 Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit honoring the Tuskegee Airmen with a desire to bridge the gap between underprivileged, underserved communities and the plethora of available aviation career fields. Quick also volunteers with Legacy Flight Academy, where young children are provided free flights throughout the country. If it isn’t clear, he has a heart for the youth.

Dwayne has lived an eventful life full of sky-scraping highs and gut-wrenching lows. And, over his years of his experience, he says that the most important lesson he’s learned is the importance of prioritizing family and faith. “The desire to do more and have more can isolate you and be lonely sometimes. I’ve lost a lot of friends and family along the way, and I realize that the moments with them are the treasure [rather] than the pursuit of career aspirations.” But overall, he just wants to make a positive impact, which is admirable. He says: “I want to leave the world better than I found it. So, when I am remembered, I hope that that’s what people will say: he left his job, he left his community, he left his family better than he found it. I just want to make a difference.”

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