Airmen are taught from the first day of basic training to always help the men and women who stand beside them.
The Air Force Assistance Fund is a perfect example of how Airmen exemplify this virtue. The AFAF is an annual effort to raise funds for charities that provide support to Air Force families in need (active duty, retirees, reservists, guard and dependents, including surviving spouses).
There are four charitable organizations supported by the AFAF, the Air Force Aid Society, the LeMay Foundation, Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation and the Air Force Enlisted Village. These organizations help Air Force families with educational needs, medical needs and even provide secure retirement homes for widows or widowers of our Air Force members in need of financial assistance.
“If you’re really looking for a way to take care of our Airmen and take care of each other, it’s the Air Force Assistance Fund,” said Brig. Gen. Mark R. August, 86th Airlift Wing Commander. “It’s an opportunity to really give back.”
Whether it’s flying an Airman home on short notice because of a family emergency, or helping to pay medical bills when a family member becomes ill, the efforts of the AFAF directly impact Airmen all over the world.
“You can donate anytime between March 18, 2019 and April 26, 2019. People can donate via cash, check, payroll deduction, and E-Giving. Each unit has a Unit Project Officer and key workers that will assist anyone interested in contributing,” said Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Marshall, 86th Munitions Squadron Control Section Chief and representative for the AFAF.
Marshall isn’t just a representative for the AFAF, he is also someone who has been helped by AFAF’s critical resources when he was a first term Airman.
“I was a married Senior Airman with a dependent stationed at Dyess Air Force Base. There was a rash of vehicle and apartment break-ins and, unfortunately, I fell victim to it twice,” said Marshall.
“Due to this situation and the expenses incurred, this caused a serious financial burden on me and my family. I brought up the situation to my First Sergeant and he directed me to the Airman & Family Readiness Center. They advised me that I was a great candidate for the Air Force Aid Society Falcon Loan Program.”
The Airman & Family Readiness Center provides resources for the AFAS, which is funded directly through generous contributions to the AFAF.
“By using the AFAS, I was able to secure an interest-free loan that could be paid out over a 12-month period. This allowed me to move into a house with a garage with the deposit and first month’s rent paid,” continued Marshall.
Without the contributions of the AFAF, helping Marshall would have been impossible. But since the Air Force is fortunate enough to have such generous contributions from Air Force members, Marshall was able to get the help he needed.
Ramstein’s AFAF campaign is open now through late April. If you or someone you know is interested in donating to the AFAF, go to MyPay on the Air Force Portal or contact your UPO to help a fellow Airman in need.
For more information on the AFAF, go to https://www.afassistancefund.org.