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Blue Angels fly over hospital

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The sound and smell of jet engines enveloped Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera on March 16.

Five of the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels held a flyby over the hospital in their F/A-18 Hornets while patients, their families and hospital staff were on hand to witness the event. More than 200 people stood outside the hospital to see the jets.

According to the hospital, the Blue Angels were on their way to an air show in Lancaster. The Blue Angels’ commander, Ryan Bernacchi, organized the last-minute flyover with the hospital because of his experiences there.

The hospital treated Bernacchi’s daughter in 2012. Since then, he has volunteered frequently at the hospital. Bernacchi was stationed at Naval Air Station Lemoore before joining the Blue Angels in 2015.

“We thank Blue Angels Commander Ryan Bernacchi and our own Dr. Robert Kezirian for making this possible,” the hospital said in a statement on their Facebook page. “When Cmdr. Bernacchi was stationed at NAS Lemoore, he was impressed with the care his own daughter received here and, through the years, has organized visits, events and now [this] to show his and the Navy’s appreciation for the physicians, staff and volunteers.”

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