AFAF highlights Airmen’s ‘commitment to caring’

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. --

When life throws you a curveball, sometimes you don’t have to hit it all by yourself; sometimes, you may ask for help.

Staff Sgt. Andrew Northnagle of the 10th Communications Squadron knows this well.

The sergeant and his wife were adjusting to life in Colorado in 2014 after a change of assignment from Georgia. They weren’t prepared financially when his wife lost her job and got behind on their bills.

Fortunately, somebody was there to lend a helping hand.

“I got a Falcon Loan for $750 to keep the lights on and have food in the table,” Northnagle said.

The loan is one of the Air Force Aid Society’s loan programs available to Airmen.

“When I needed assistance, they were there for me,” Northnagle said.

The AFAS is one of the four charitable institutions affiliated with the Air Force Assistance Fund campaign. The other three are the Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation, the Air Force Enlisted Village and the General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation.

With the theme “Commitment to caring,” the campaign is an annual effort to raise funds for the charitable affiliates in support of Air Force families in need. For 2017, the Academy’s goal is $45,530, part of the Air Force’s $4.67 million objective.

“This is the one campaign that is truly about Airmen giving back to Airmen,” said Senior Master Sgt. Robert Szoboszlay of the 10th Security Forces Squadron. He's the Air Force Academy’s AFAF installation project officer.

Each of the organizations provides emergency support, educational scholarship or retirement home for widows or widowers of Airmen. Beneficiaries for the charities include active duty, retirees, reservists, Guard and dependents and surviving spouses.

“Your contributions through the AFAF campaign directly benefit Airmen, retirees and their families,” Szoboszlay said.

The campaign began April 10 and concludes May 19. During the first half of the campaign, project officers and key workers aimed to reach 100 percent contact with the Academy’s active-duty population and seek individual donations or contributions. The second half will see organizations hosting fundraising events.

Szoboszlay said it is important to contribute through the AFAF campaign.

“It’s all about being a good wingman,” he said.

For more information or to donate, visit hwww.afassistancefund.org or contact your unit project officer or key workers.