May Edition: Note from AFA President
Remembering our fallen comrades
This weekend we celebrate Memorial Day and it’s important to remember why we celebrate this important holiday. It is not about barbeques or neighborhood swimming pools opening. Rather, Memorial Day is about remembering the people who have died while serving in our nation’s armed forces. As Americans, we should pay tribute to the many military members from all branches that made the ultimate sacrifice.
The Air Force Memorial annually hosts a wreath-laying ceremony on Memorial Day. This year, I will celebrate Memorial Day by speaking at the event and placing a wreath on behalf of AFA. If you are in the D.C. area, I invite you to attend as well. If not, I encourage you to participate in local ceremonies or you can visit local cemeteries or memorials.
AFA Upcoming Events
Summer will soon begin and AFA will be busy supporting our mission in a variety of ways. On June 10th, we are excited to host a Wounded Airman Panel at AFA Headquarters with opening remarks provided by Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, Gen David L. Goldfein. There will be two separate panels; one with wounded Airmen and another with caregivers. Both groups will discuss the importance of rehabilitation through adaptive sports. The Wounded Airman Program is providing great support to Airmen and I thank Kari Hahn and her team for their great support.
Following the panels, on June 11th and 12th, AFA will once again host the Air Force Association Cycling Classic in Arlington, Virginia. AFA’s Wounded Airman Program has been selected as the event’s official beneficiary, and will receive a portion of donations made through the Team Sabre Challenge Ride event and other on-site fundraising efforts. AFA will bring in wounded Airmen to participate in the event as a part of their rehabilitation. We are proud and excited to partner with many AFA Chapters in Maryland and Virginia and companies like American Airlines who have donated 1.5 million air travel miles to help with the costs of the Airmen’s travel.
We are equally exited to announce our inaugural AFA Airman’s Corner at Andrews Air Force Base on 17 June. The event will feature a half-day symposium to provide professional development for Airmen. The forum will feature senior Air Force leaders and invited speakers to provide real-time mentorship and professional leadership development. This event will be free of charge and highlight the VALUE that AFA provides to Airmen.
Thank You General and Mrs. Welsh
Finally, I’m sure you are aware of the announced retirement of General and Mrs. Welsh. As the Vice Chief of Staff, I worked along side General Welsh for three years, so I can tell you first hand there is no finer Air Force leader and Airman. He and his wife, Betty, have served our country and Air Force with great distinction and they will leave a legacy of service that will be difficult, if not impossible, to match. On behalf of the 94,000 members of AFA, thank you Mark and Betty. We wish you the best!
I hope everyone has an enjoyable Memorial Day and remembers why we celebrate this important day.
Larry O. Spencer