JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --
Airmen assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord gathered together in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Air Force Aid Society here, March 10.
According to the AFAS website, the charitable organization dates back to the beginning of American involvement in World War II when Gen. Henry “Hap” Arnold, Commanding General of the Army Air Forces, and his wife, Bee, turned the ideal of ‘Airmen helping Airmen’ into a reality.
“The purpose of AFAS is to help alleviate stress due to financial emergencies so our Airmen can be in a better place mentally to focus on their Air Force mission,” said Diana Burr, 627th Force Support Squadron AFAS officer. “The society was created by General Hap Arnold back in 1942 when he realized the toll World War II was having on our Airmen and their families.”
As their website proudly proclaims, for every dollar donated, AFAS pledges to provide three dollars to Airmen in need.
“Everyone should know the AFAS is here to help in emergency situations,” Burr said. “The basic philosophy of the AFAS is to meet immediate financial needs in an emergency situation as a step toward a permanent solution to a problem.”
Different from other Air Force programs such as the Combined Federal Campaign, the AFAS gets its funding through donations and investments, Burr explained.
“The AFAS is one of four charities which benefit from the Air Force Assistance Fund campaign each year,” she said. “As a matter of fact, McChord’s annual AFAF campaign is in April and May, giving each Airman the opportunity to donate to one of the four charities, including AFAS.”
Arnold’s vision of Airmen helping Airmen not only alleviated the stresses of those affected by World War II, it has enabled Airmen to help one another through almost every type of hardship over the past 75 years.
“The [Air Force Aid] Society prides itself on trying to anticipate and recognize the changing needs of our Airmen,” Burr said. “Ever since its inception, leaders involved have been very passionate about taking care of Airmen and their families. The anniversary is an occasion to celebrate just that; 75 years of taking care of Airmen!”
For more information about the AFAS or to learn how to get involved, contact Burr at 253-982-2695.