Taking care of our own

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Mark Dillon
  • 86th Airlift Wing commander
This week we kick off our annual Air Force Assistance Fund drive. The Air Force Assistance Fund is a collection of four organizations, providing an easy way to make a meaningful contribution to our way of life. Your donations go directly to people who have held up our Air Force Family for many years, and to those who currently support us every day.

Over the past few years, economic conditions have altered the charitable landscape in our Air Force. Specifically, donations have fallen by 30 percent, thus forcing civilian charities to reduce the amount of help they can provide to our community.

This trend reinforces the need to maintain our commitment to caring, and solidify our posture to care for our Air Force Family. Team Ramstein has historically set the benchmark for participation, and this year it's not about Airmen giving more, it's about more Airmen giving!

The Air Force Aid Society is the official charity of the United States Air Force, founded in 1942 as a private, non-profit organization. Over the years, the AFAS has supported the Air Force mission by providing worldwide emergency assistance, sponsoring education assistance programs and offering a wide variety of base community enhancement programs that improve quality of life for Airmen and their families.

The General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation helps widows of all Air Force Retirees, both officers and enlisted, through financial assistance grants.

After spending much of their lives coping with the difficulties of military life and supporting their spouses through years of active duty, many military widows find themselves in need of financial aid. The LeMay Foundation provides assistance as long as it is necessary.

The Air Force Village and Enlisted Village are two organizations founded in the '60s, designed to provide retirement communities for the widows of retired Airmen. For women who have tirelessly served their country alongside their husbands, who have exhausted their financial resources, the Air Force Village and Enlisted Village serve as a reminder -- they have not been forgotten.

The Air Force Assistance Fund Campaign provides each and every Airman the opportunity to directly impact the lives of fellow Airmen through charitable donation. The AFAF drive is our annual reminder to "take care of our own."

This year as you consider the opportunity to make a difference, I suggest you reflect on the four affiliate charities that benefit from the AFAF campaign.

Specifically, these charities care for emergency needs, benefit much-needed base enhancement programs, care for fellow Airmen-retirees' widows and widowers, and give those widows a home to live in among the Air Force family.

Command Chief Butler and I have already made our contributions and encourage everyone to help our fellow Airmen through AFAF.

Thanks again to you and your families for your service to our Air Force.