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Joint Base Andrews News

NEWS | April 28, 2020

Help a wingman, AFAF 20'

By Tech. Sgt. Mark Wesson 11th WG/PA

How about a State of Emergency and a global pandemic to kick off the 2020 JBA Air Force Assistance Fund Campaign!?!?!

This is one of the times that we are forced to remember what we do, and why we do it, in order to make the mission succeed, and continue to support and defend the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. In this unique case, that enemy happens to be invisible, difficult to contain, and with our current tools very hard to identify. These are obstacles we prepare for, challenges we choose to face when we choose to serve so that we, our families, and our friends have the freedoms unique to the United States of America.

Those words, while inspirational to some… corny to others… and by many simply unread are very true when it comes to times of war and national emergency. They represent a spirit that we embody… although not without some personal hardship. Hopefully, this can cut through the COVID-19 noise and reach those who are willing and/or able to help beyond the scope of their normal duties. The 2020 JBA Air force Assistance Fund campaign will run until 8 May 2020 and gives us all an opportunity to seek or give support to our fellow service men and women as this crisis continues to unfold. Each unit has a key worker, and if you don’t know who it is contact me [Tech. Sgt. Mark Wesson] at mark.j.wesson.mil@mail.mil for more information about what you can do to support!

When we take our oaths of enlistment and oaths of office we do not always know what challenges lie ahead and we do not always have the personal preparation necessary to face them. Unlike many agencies in the public sector, unlike our families and friends, we have agencies designed around us to help when our own challenges and obstacles become too much to bear.

The Air Force Assistance Fund comprises four of these such organizations; the Air Force Aid Society, the Air Force Enlisted Village, the Lemay Foundation, and the Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation. Regardless of which phase of flight you are in in your career at least one of these organizations can provide additional support in a time of need.

Our personnel are some of the smartest, most highly skilled, best trained individuals in the world. We provide the strength the United States Air Force and DoD needs to overcome challenges every day and night that would overwhelm other nations. We still have struggles of our own, and in times of need we can use some of these organizations regardless of where we are in our careers.

If this message reaches you in a time of need reach out to these organizations, reach out to your supervisor, reach out to your first sergeant, none of us fights or flies alone. If this message reaches you in a place of comfort think again about what and if you are able to help provide support to your wingmen who need it. Think about the time you or your wingman had to purchase a last minute ticket home and didn’t know how you would afford it, or received a grant for education that allowed you to reach a personal and professional milestone after years of hard work.

In this short window from now until 8 May we have an opportunity to bolster some of the organizations that work tirelessly to support us in many different ways.

With the heightened stress and concern surrounding our current global environment, we have more and more Airmen (enlisted, officer, retirees, reservists, and guardsmen) facing greater personal challenges every day! Help your wingmen! So that they may continue to fight and fly confidently by your side, focus on the mission and continue to prove why we are the world’s greatest Air Force!