AFAF - Taking care of our own

HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii -- I am most proud of the priority we place on taking care of our fellow Airmen and their families. A great example of taking care of our own is the Air Force Assistance Fund (AFAF) annual fundraising effort.

Through the AFAF, the Air Force Village Foundation, Air Force Aid Society, LeMay Foundation and the Air Force Enlisted Village provide tangible support every day to Active Duty, Reserve and Guard members as well as retirees and dependents. This financial assistance takes on many different forms such as help during emergencies, help with educational needs, or securing retirement homes for widows or widowers of Air Force members.

Contributions through the AFAF are among the best investments we can make in our own community. In 2007, PACAF Airmen pledged $619,000 to the overall AFAF campaign while receiving back over $1.6 million in Air Force Aid Society assistance during that same year. Impressive figures, but consider this: Just three of 10 Airmen contribute to AFAF. We could do much more for our wingmen with even a modest increase in participation.

Eva-Marie and I ask each of you to consider joining us this year in supporting the AFAF. Whether you chose to participate or not, know that we deeply appreciate all you do for our nation and our Air Force. We are the greatest Air Force in the world and will remain so because of the spirit of our Airmen and our commitment to one another and the mission.