Always Ready to Help

Always Ready to Help

AFAS has been there for Airmen for 78 years Airmen are often miles away from their family, whether it’s in another state or in a different country. If an emergency comes up with a loved one, Airmen may not have the extra money for a last-minute ticket or travel arrangements. The Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) is always ready to help, ensuring Airmen can be with their loved ones when they need to. Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Adams saw this first-hand when he was the Commander of the 728th Air Mobility Squadron in Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. In 2018, a young Staff Sergeant walked into the First Sergeant’s office clearly distraught. The Staff Sergeant’s father had been admitted to the hospital, and he was not expected to live much longer. The First Sergeant arranged for the Staff Sergeant to leave on a military flight that evening. “Unfortunately, Joint Travel Regulation authorized funding for emergency travel wasn’t enough to cover the Staff Sergeant’s flights after he landed in the States,” Lt Col Adams recalls. The flight from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport to his hometown would more than drain his bank account. Fortunately, AFAS stepped in quickly, allowing the Staff Sergeant to make it home where he was by his father’s side as he passed away. “While his grief was immense,”

Easing One Burden During COVID-19

Easing One Burden During COVID-19

AFAS eases a financial burden for one family during the pandemic Technical Sergeant Jeffery Brown joined the Air Force 12 years ago to get an education. Since then, he’s learned that being part of the Air Force means having more than a job with a paycheck. TSgt Brown has found some of his best friends as an Airman, and he’s found support from the Air Force during the trying times of COVID-19. Having heard of the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) early on in his career, TSgt Brown never thought he’d need it. But, then COVID-19 happened. Like so many families, the Browns found themselves in unfamiliar waters that presented new challenges. TSgt Brown’s wife works at the Child Development Center at Holloman Air Force Base, but when COVID-19 hit, her hours were drastically cut. Still having all of their regular bills, the Browns found themselves struggling financially. “I was forced to pick up the additional financial burden so we could pay the bills,” TSgt Brown recalls. With the reduced income, it was only a matter of time before the family found themselves coming up a little short. TSgt Brown turned to AFAS to help them through their tough situation. The much-needed assistance allowed the family to get caught up on their bills, giving TSgt Brown the breathing room he

Taking Care of Airmen

Taking Care of Airmen

AFAS takes care of Airmen like family during COVID-19 Technical Sergeant Raymond Ireland wanted more out of life than his small hometown offered. With a father who served in the Army National Guard for over 20 years, TSgt Ireland joined the Air Force at 17 years old with his mother’s permission. Now, 16 years later, he leads a team of people and makes sure they’re his number one priority. For TSgt Ireland, “taking care of your people is what the Air Force family means to me.” This includes how the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) is always ready to help Airmen when they’re in need. The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented conditions for millions of people. TSgt Ireland’s wife was out of work for a while and the family lost her income.  When she was able to return to work, the family needed childcare but didn’t have enough to cover the initial childcare bill. TSgt Ireland applied for and received an interest-free loan. AFAS went one step further and converted his loan to a grant due to the pandemic and their unplanned financial emergency. AFAS also recognizes many Air Force families have faced extra expenses resulting from school closings due to the pandemic. To help Airmen, AFAS offered a one-time $250 Virtual Schooling Grant to eligible Air Force families with

College Dreams for a Mother and Daughter

College Dreams for a Mother and Daughter

AFAS helped an Airman’s wife and daughter attend college Retired Master Sergeant Robert Hernandez joined the Air Force when he was 17. He left for Basic Military Training just nine days after graduating high school “to see the world outside of a small Texas town,” his daughter Daniella recalls. MSgt Hernandez hoped that the Air Force would let him see the world and allow him the opportunity to have a great career. The Air Force not only provided MSgt Hernandez with a long career, it also helped his wife and daughter achieve their higher education dreams with assistance from the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS). When Daniella was seven, her mother attended Boise State University to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The family lived at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho, and her mother commuted to the university to attend class, over an hour each way. Eventually, Daniella’s mother applied for the General Henry (Hap) Arnold Education Grant, the centerpiece of AFAS education support. The grant eased the burden of the expensive commute and helped to offset her tuition costs.  When it was Daniella’s turn to attend college 12 years later, AFAS again supported the Hernandez family. Danielle applied for and received the Hap Arnold Education Grant for three years in addition to a recent interest-free loan to

Giving and Receiving

Giving and Receiving

An Air Force chaplain’s son receives education support from AFAS Captain Chadwick Potts joined the Air Force in 2003 to serve God and his country. He has found his calling serving as a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force for the past 17 years. Capt. Potts’ son, Ezekiel, says that his father has found comfort with the Air Force family he counsels and supports. The chaplain has also found that these Airmen are there for the Potts family when needed, Ezekiel says. This includes education support from the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) for Ezekiel. Eligible dependent children and spouses of active duty and retired Airmen can work toward their dreams of a college degree with AFAS education grants, scholarships and interest-free loans. Ezekiel applied for education assistance before he started college at Concordia University Wisconsin. With the high cost of a college education, Ezekiel knew he would need help to avoid having huge student loan debt. “Without scholarships or assistance, I would have finished four years of college with $80,000 of debt,” he says. Fortunately, the Society was there for the Potts family to help Ezekiel better afford his education. “Thanks to AFAS, I will be able to breathe easier after college and focus on important things,” Ezekiel explains, “instead of constantly having to worry about overwhelming debt.” Ezekiel

Receiving a World-Class Education

Receiving a World-Class Education

A retired Airman’s son attends Caltech with support from AFAS Andrew Pasco’s father retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserves as a Lieutenant Colonel after 20 years of active and reserve duty combined. Lt Col Pasco joined the Air Force to be a pilot because of his strong desire to serve his country. It means a great deal to his father that “he could help make the world a safer and better place for everyone”.  Lt Col Pasco was part of the Air Force family during his service, and this Air Force community continues to offer support even after retirement. It’s this family that is helping his son achieve his dream of attending a world-class university.   During Andrew’s senior year of high school, he was accepted to the prestigious California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Andrew immediately began researching scholarships to help offset the high cost of tuition and found the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) Gen. Henry H. Arnold Education Program “Hap Arnold Grant,” in which he received a merit scholarship.  The $5,000 merit scholarships from AFAS are available to dependent children of active duty and retired Airmen who demonstrate outstanding academic potential based on GPA.  To be eligible, Andrew had to first apply for AFAS’s Hap Arnold Grant, which is a needs-based grant. It is not necessary to qualify