Rising 4 Airman’s Attic gives back

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Kelly Goonan

In a hurry to pack or to maximize luggage space, 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing Airmen may find themselves wondering what to do with usable, new or used, uniform items, clothes, electronics, and more.

In comes the "Airman's Attic."

The Attic, operated by volunteer Red Tail Airmen of all ranks and specialties, is available to use for everyone at the 332nd AEW regardless of rank. The Attic takes usable uniforms, boots, civilian attire, personal care items, and more in the hope of putting those items into the hands of Airmen in need.

“When people leave for home, they’ll often donate things like converters, lamps, TVs, mirrors and other items,” said Senior Airman Richard Nelson, 332nd Air Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron defender and one of the Rising 4 Airman’s Attic leaders. “Along with used items, we’ll often get brand new boots, uniforms, running shoes, toiletries, and other stuff. I’ve seen skateboards, rolling bags, and brand new backpacks come through here.”

Uniforms, to include physical training uniforms, are organized according to size and neatly arranged on shelves and hangars. Boots are paired in rows on shelves with clear labels indicating size. The Attic also has a significant stock of brand new toiletries, books, DVDs, and other items.

Nelson went on to explain how this re-use and recycle type of system is beneficial for everyone because it not only helps Airmen and the Air Force save money but it also reduces the carbon footprint of the 332nd AEW by reducing waste. For example, if an Airman finds a tear in their uniform, runs out of shampoo or needs a mirror, they can come to the Attic to help bridge the gap of mail delivery times or when the Base Exchange is awaiting restock of items.

"The availability of what we have ebbs and flows," Nelson said. "Everything is on a first-come, first-served basis. Same with our hours of operation. We rely heavily on the availability of our volunteers to keep the Attic open and organized. It’s Airmen helping Airmen."

One of the many occasions of Airmen helping Airmen came around 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 17, when Airman’s Attic volunteers were notified of inbound personnel in need of civilian clothing and other basic supplies to sustain them until their luggage could be delivered. As soon as the message came through, several volunteers immediately stepped up to wash and dry clothing and put together personal hygiene kits for them Nelson explained.

“Brig. Gen. Christopher Sage, [332nd AEW commander], and I have been continually impressed by the sustained dedication of the Airman’s Attic initiative,” said Master Sgt. Sean Milligan, 332nd AEW command chief. “It’s a great example of Raising the Red Tail Standard.”

There are donation bins next to the Airman’s Attic as well as several bins located throughout the Life Support Area that Attic volunteers periodically check to restock the Attic each month.

For additional information, or to become a volunteer, please contact one of the Rising 4 Council Airman’s Attic leaders: SrA Richard Nelson, SrA Tommy Jones, or Airman 1st Class Darrien Shackelford.