Ready and Waiting

Ready and Waiting

Quick action from AFAS allowed an Airman to go home Last August, Technical Sergeant Kimberly Oguinn was taking a class in New Jersey. On the evening before she was to head back to Dover, she received a phone call from a paramedic telling her that her father had passed away unexpectedly. The next morning, TSgt Oguinn headed back to Dover Air Force Base. Because her supervisor, Master Sergeant Walgren, had called the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) in advance, TSgt Oguinn and her kids were able to fly home the next day. TSgt Oguinn had been away from her hometown of Lacey, Washington for 13 years. In her time of need, AFAS helped her get back within hours. The unwavering kindness from the Society meant that “in any time of need, they’re going to get me home,” TSgt Oguinn said. To her family, “it showed them that the military cares about them as well.” The assistance that TSgt Oguinn received meant more than plane tickets to attend her father’s funeral. It also meant that she could put more money toward the funeral’s expense and avoid paying a loan with a high-interest rate. This relieved some of the stress during a difficult time. “Without AFAS, I know there are a lot of us who would be in a very bad financial

Opening New Doors

Opening New Doors

Melissa Aparicio is expanding her knowledge and career path Melissa Aparicio isn’t new to the healthcare industry. She has spent the past 9 years working as an ER technician. Because of her desire to expand her knowledge in the medical field, she enrolled in the pharmacy technician program at Delaware Technical Community College, thanks to the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS). “I just want to learn more about medicine, and the pharmacy class. It’s a great steppingstone to expand my knowledge about everything,” Melissa says. Melissa heard about the certificate program through the Airman and Family Readiness Center. Interested in the program, but unsure that she would be selected, Melissa applied with encouragement from her husband, Staff Sergeant Hugo Becerra-Marquez. To her excitement, she was accepted. Paying for the class, the exam, and even the necessary medical scrubs, Melissa probably would not have been able to take the course if not for the support from AFAS through its Spouse Employment Program (SEP). For Melissa, the program demonstrates that the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and the Society “want you to have your career as well.” Not only will Melissa expand her knowledge, but she’s also meeting other spouses in the program, making friends with people she may not have met otherwise. “If anybody has an opportunity to do this, I recommend

What Goes Around Comes Around

What Goes Around Comes Around

An Airman’s spouse gives back to Airmen and finds herself returning an old favor When Jennifer Burns and her family moved to Dover Air Force Base (AFB), she was looking for some work outside of the home that offered flexibility for her schedule. She decided that volunteering would be a good fit, and she has been a volunteer receptionist at the Dover Airman and Family Readiness Center ever since. As a receptionist, Jennifer may be the first person an Airman or family member sees or talks to when visiting the Readiness Center. She has heard all types of emergencies from those who need help when the unexpected happens. Many families don’t have money budgeted for such events, so they come to the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS). Jennifer feels great responsibility when people come to her seeking assistance, especially when it’s needed quickly. “It’s rewarding to know that we were able to help them in what could have been a crisis situation,” she says. Her experience is not just as a volunteer with AFAS. Jennifer previously participated in the Air Force’s Heart Link program for new military spouses. From learning the rank insignias on uniforms to understanding the vocabulary and acronyms of everyday military talk, Jennifer found great value in the Air Force’s Heart Link Program in helping her acclimate

Family Readiness Equals Mission Readiness

Family Readiness Equals Mission Readiness

Supporting the entire Air Force family is essential for peace of mind Jennifer Aubrey has worked as an Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) Officer and Community Readiness Consultant since 2007. Part of her role is providing financial counseling to those who seek assistance. People who visit her may not know the many ways that AFAS can help, including providing emergency assistance, education support, and community programs. Until emergencies happen – unexpected medical bills, last-minute travel to visit a sick family member or having to rebuild a home destroyed from a natural disaster. “The ability of the Air Force Aid Society to chip in to help the members make it through those difficult times is important because it allows [Airmen] to be mission-ready…so that they can do their job on a daily basis day in, day out,” Jennifer says. The Society is also there to help dependent children and spouses work toward their dreams of higher education through grants, loans and scholarships. The General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant program is the centerpiece of the Society’s educational support initiatives and awarding education grants to eligible Air Force dependents based on the family’s financial need. Making education more accessible is vital for these families, Jennifer explains. “It allows them to make a better living for themselves and have a better quality of

Re-entering the Workforce

Re-entering the Workforce

Madeline Jensen can start a new career because of a program from AFAS When Madeline Jensen married her husband, Captain Kyle Jensen, she was in the middle of studying for an undergraduate degree. When they moved soon after, she learned that many of her college credits wouldn’t transfer to another school. After learning about the Air Force Aid Society’s (AFAS) Spouse Employment Program (SEP), Madeline decided it sounded interesting, so “why not give it a shot?” she recalls. The AFAS SEP provides free, no-cost entry-level job training to active duty military spouses with a goal to help them secure immediate, viable employment and possibly long-term careers. Upon learning that she qualified for the program, Madeline was very excited to pursue a certificate to be a pharmacy technician, which was something of interest to her already. “I don’t usually count myself as a lucky person, so I was pretty excited…and I am looking forward to the opportunity to further my education and get myself in the workforce,” she says. Madeline is now attending Dover Technical College, and unlike her lost college credits, the certificate she receives in Delaware will transfer to other states.  “This is something I can take with me, no matter where we move,” Madeline states happily. And, as a pharmacy technician, Madeline will have flexibility in her employment,

A Career That’s Ready to Go

A Career That’s Ready to Go

An Air Force spouse gains a new career that can move with her As a military spouse, Heather Cameron wanted a career that would be easily transferable for when her family inevitably is relocated. Or, in Heather’s words one that she can put  “in go-mode.” Through the Air Force Aid Society’s (AFAS) Spouse Employment Program (SEP), Heather enrolled in the certification course as a pharmacy technician at Dover Technical College. The program provides free, no-cost entry-level job training to active duty military spouses with a goal to help them secure immediate, viable employment and possibly long-term careers. Upon completing the SEP course and passing the national certification, Heather will be a certified pharmacy technician. It will open new opportunities in a field of interest to her, and she won’t have to start over again with each permanent change of station (PCS) move.  Heather and her spouse, Master Sergeant Theodore Cameron, are grateful for the support from AFAS and the opportunity their family has received. She also recognizes the opportunities that the program provides to many families who cannot otherwise afford additional schooling.  “There are so many families that wouldn’t be able to attain this, or even think of going for this course because of the financial strain that it would incur on their family,” she explains. “It’s a wonderful opportunity