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Air Force Assistance Fund: The Personal Side

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Jimmy Livingston
  • 3rd Aerial Port Squadron
In February 2001, I was assigned to the 3rd Communications Squadron, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska right out of tech school. I was an Airman 1st Class with a wife and a new baby and was now 4,500 miles from home and everyone I'd ever known. 

On December 4th of that same year, my 84-year old father passed away due to heart failure. He and my mother were the only family I had left. I was an only child and there was no one else to make his final arrangements or make sure my mother would be cared for. I had to get home but there was no way I could possibly afford an $800 plane ticket. 

I turned to my First Sergeant who called on the Air Force Aid Society for help. I was asked only two questions: When do you want to leave and do you want your wife and child to go with you? Because of the Air Force Assistance Fund, I was able to get home less than 48 hours after my father's passing. 

My terminally ill mother passed away three years later while I was stationed at United States Strategic Command in Omaha, Nebraska. Again, the Air Force Aid Society came to my rescue by providing an interest free loan so I, along with my wife and son, could get home in time to see her while she was still alive. She passed two days after I got home. 

I know from firsthand experience how important the AFAF is to Air Force members. I make it a point to give generously every year because I've seen it in action and I know that it works. The AFAF is a worthwhile cause that has made a huge difference in my life.