Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound

A Wounded Warrior is reunited with his dogs, aiding his recovery Airman First Class Brandon Piper joined the Air Force because, in his words, he was “going nowhere.” Homeless when he enlisted, A1C Piper decided that the Air Force could change his life while letting him serve his country as both of his grandfathers did before him. In spring 2019, shortly before his third anniversary in the Air Force, A1C Piper’s life changed forever after an injury left him permanently paralyzed from the waist down. Stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington when the injury happened, A1C Piper went to a rehab facility in Minneapolis before he and his wife moved back home to Indiana. While A1C Piper had a difficult recovery ahead of him, it was made more stressful because the couple had to leave their two dogs behind in Washington. The dogs stayed in boarding until the Pipers could figure out how to bring Echo and Hunter to Indiana – they were too big to fly, and a transport service would cost thousands of dollars. A1C Piper’s lieutenant went to the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) to see if they could help. While AFAS is able to support its Air Force family in many ways, sometimes they can’t provide direct support to an Airman. When this happens, they

Less Worry and More Focus

Less Worry and More Focus

A grant from AFAS eased a burden during COVID-19 Two years ago, Airman First Class Kyle Shenberger headed to Basic Military Training. He had been deeply affected by 9/11 and joined the Air Force because he wanted to contribute and help defend and preserve the freedoms for which others fought and died. At 30 years old, he wanted to prove that no matter his age, he had what it took to stand next to other men and women who had the same values. The Airmen who A1C Shenberger proudly stands next to today are a family all fighting for a common cause. And, during the year of the global pandemic, they’re also working to adapt to a “new normal” at work and at home. The Shenbergers’ daughter was due to begin kindergarten this fall, but with COVID-19, in-person classes were cancelled. The Shenbergers found themselves unexpectedly needing more school supplies than they would for in-person classes. Fortunately, being a part of the Air Force family means having the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) there to help in unexpected situations. AFAS recognizes many Air Force families have faced extra expenses resulting from school closings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For a limited time, AFAS offered a one-time $250 Virtual Schooling Grant to eligible Air Force families with a financial need to

Helping AFAS Help Others

Helping AFAS Help Others

An Airman’s spouse donates part of her business’s profits to AFAS Jennifer Lehman and her husband, Technical Sergeant Richard Lehman, have been a part of the Air Force family for 18 years. Years ago, Jennifer was pregnant with their daughter while her husband was deployed. The Lehmans were going through a difficult time, but they didn’t have to go through it alone.  The Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) always stands by Airmen when they’re in need, and AFAS was there to help the Lehmans through the rough patch. Later, AFAS again stood by the Lehmans when Jennifer had breast cancer. “When we fell on hard times, we received much-needed help,” she says as she looks back on the assistance. This is why Jennifer feels strongly about being a donor, giving back to the organization that has stood by her family more than once. Jennifer runs an online business selling goods, and a portion of every item that she sells goes toward the Society. “I will continue this with every item I sell online,” she states. Every piece Jennifer sells means assistance for an Airman who’s going through their own rough patch. The generosity that drives Jennifer to donate to AFAS is a part of the Lehman family core values. “My family is blessed, and giving back is a priority,” she

Help in Tough Times

Help in Tough Times

A grant from AFAS allows an Airman to purchase resources for his son Master Sergeant Christopher Kelley joined the U.S. Air Force with hopes of being able to take care of his family while also having the ability to pursue his education. He has served in the U.S. Air Force for 18 years and has supported the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) throughout his military career. “Serving in the Air Force has been such a blessing for my family and me; we have been able to travel the world,” says MSgt Kelley. In response to the pandemic, AFAS developed the Virtual Schooling Grant to help Air Force families with expenses by providing $250 to offset virtual schooling costs for dependents in grades K through 12. MSgt Kelley applied and received the grant. He used the funds to purchase essential school supplies for his son that he and his wife hadn’t budgeted for and were now faced with buying to accommodate his son’s new online environment. “By not having to stretch our budget to purchase unexpected school supplies, it took the financial burden off our shoulders and enabled a seamless transition,” he says. “No matter your rank or current status, never be afraid or ashamed to utilize resources such as AFAS as they are designed to help you and your family

Helping Others in the Family

Helping Others in the Family

An Airman sees first-hand how AFAS helps the Air Force family Growing up with a father as an Airman, Major Kevin Gore loved meeting new people and learning new cultures. When Maj Gore took an aviation course in high school, he was inspired by his teacher to consider a career in the military. With encouragement from his parents, Maj Gore applied to the United States Air Force Academy. With his father’s long service as an Airman, Maj Gore received a presidential nomination, beginning his career in the Air Force. Maj Gore is proud of his service, and he’s proud to be an Airman. For him, it means “an instant connection and willingness to help others in ‘the family.’ ” When Maj Gore was a Captain at Moody Air Force Base in 1992, he saw the younger members of his Air Force family struggle to make ends meet. Contacting the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) on behalf of these young Airmen, AFAS helped relieve some of their financial burdens during the holidays. Maj Gore saw first-hand that AFAS was a worthy charity. Years later, AFAS was there to help the Gore family. The Gores have six children from ages 18-30, which has meant many college tuition bills over the years. Sometimes there was a shortage of funds, and the Gores had

HERE TO HELP

HERE TO HELP

AFAS Virtual Schooling Grant provides a sense of relief during the pandemic Senior Airman Pamela Poirier joined the Air Force to complete her education and to provide stability for her son. Her Air Force experience has been slightly challenging since she and her son has had to move away from family. “I didn’t have my parent’s support, but I quickly formed a family within my unit that I knew I could depend on,” says SrA Poirier. “No matter the challenges you face, you can always find a family within your unit or base that’ll be there for you, support, and guide you,” she says. She heard about the Air Force Aid Society from a coworker who had applied for an emergency assistance no-interest loan. Due to the pandemic, her significant other lost his job, and her family’s income shifted from a dual-income household to a single-income household. Air Force Aid Society’s Virtual Schooling Grant could not have come at a better time because she needed help to pay for her son’s school supplies. In response to the pandemic, AFAS developed the Virtual Schooling Grant to help Air Force families with expenses by providing $250 to offset virtual schooling costs for dependents in grades K through 12. SrA Poirier applied and received the grant. “AFAS is for Airmen, no matter the