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 Airmen here raised $5,600 for the Air Force Enlisted Village
Deployed Airmen raise funds for Air Force Enlisted Village
SOUTHWEST ASIA – Members of the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing stand with a check for $5,600 made out to the Air Force Enlisted Village here March 5. The base raised the money for AFEV, which provides housing and financial assistance to Air Force enlisted members and their spouses. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon)
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Deployed Airmen raise funds for Air Force Enlisted Village

Posted 3/9/2012   Updated 3/9/2012 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon
379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

3/9/2012 - SOUTHWEST ASIA -- When the Air Force Association discovered that more than 50,000 widows of enlisted Airmen were living in poverty through a survey in 1967, an idea was born: the Air Force Enlisted Village.

Forty-five years later, there are three complexes in Florida that offer housing and financial assistance to many of these surviving spouses.

"Once you're part of the Air Force, you are always part of the Air Force family," said Chief Master Sgt. William Harner, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing command chief. "We have a commitment to look after and take care of all who have served, as well as their families."

At the 379th, Airmen decided to contribute to the AFEV, which is an officially recognized Air Force charity. It began in early fall last year - a fundraiser that would give back to the spouses of enlisted Airmen who served their country with honor.

More than 60 Airmen from the base volunteered to run donation stations, coordinate activities like a pie-in-the-face contest, and spread the word about AFEV, and raised $5,600 for the Village.

"Most of the advertisement for the fundraiser was through word of mouth," said Master Sgt. Scott Linza, 379th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron resource advisor and coordinator for the fundraiser. "The volunteers just spoke with people they saw and educated fellow Airmen about the AFEV and how important it is."

The fundraiser raised more than $500 on the first day alone.

"It felt really great being a part of this, because it brought people together," said Linza. "AFEV has a profound impact on every enlisted Airman, because there may be a day their spouse may need to use this resource."

The enlisted village is relevant to many, and the urge to care for enlisted, both retired and active, is an important aspect of being an Airman.

"I'm proud of our total force here because they are willing to step up for a worthy cause," said Harner. "There is a direct impact on each and every Airman that donates, because we are supporting our own people. This small gesture goes a long way to helping those in our own community who need that assistance the most."

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