base information

Everybody needs help sometimes

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- When we visited him in April of 2006, on our way from Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., to Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, his cancer was in remission. Just four months later, his doctor said we should find a way to get to California as soon as possible if we wanted to see him before it was too late.

I was a young E-3 at the time and had already spent my family's savings on previous flights to visit my ailing father-in-law, Doug. His condition was rapidly deteriorating, and we were not sure what to do. The cost to fly to California would have been more than we could handle, but we had to get there. I didn't want to ask for help, but I learned that everybody needs help sometimes. After telling my supervisor about my situation, he directed me to the first sergeant who told me about an Air Force program that could help out if I qualified. I did.

After receiving approval from the American Red Cross and my squadron leadership, it was possible for my wife, kids and I to fly to California at no cost to be with my father-in-law during the last days of his life.

Why am I telling this story? Even though it was the Air Force that funded our travel since we were stationed overseas, Airmen in similar situations can use loans and grants from the Air Force Aid Society, which is funded in part by donations made during Air Force Assistance Fund campaigns, to assist in emergencies like ours.

The 2012 AFAF campaign ends this week. Please consider giving, even if it's a dollar a month. It's Airmen like you who are willing to donate your hard-earned money to the AFAF that help our fellow Airmen to make it through situations similar to the one my family was in. You never know when you might be the one in need of help. Thank you for your support of the AFAF.