AFA's Wounded Airman Program Needs You!
Our Air Force Association’s Wounded Airman Program (WAP) was proud to once again support the Air Force Trials at Nellis AFB, NV February 25-March 2. The Air Force Trials are part of the Air Force’s Warrior CARE events, which feature Caregiver Support, Adaptive and Rehabilitative Sports, Recovering Airman Mentorship and Employment and Career Readiness for wounded, ill or injured service members. The Air Force Wounded Warrior team was selected at the Trials and will go on to compete at the Department of Defense Warrior Games that will be held in Chicago this summer.
Recent guidance from the Office of the Secretary of Defense came out shortly before the Trials saying that the Air Force (and other services) can no longer use appropriated funds for veteran participation in the Air Force Wounded Warrior program events. AFA’s WAP was made aware of this issue weeks before the Air Force Trials. This is incredibly troublesome because there are so many wounded warriors and caregivers that feel like they were “pushed out” or “left behind” by the Air Force. When they become active in the Air Force Wounded Warrior program, they feel like they have found their Air Force family again. Many of these warriors had been training the entire year to compete and were devastated they were not able to participate because they were recently medically retired.
AFA’s Wounded Airman Program was able to work in partnership with American Airlines, Deloitte and AFA’s Thunderbird chapter to fund 17 wounded Airmen and caregivers in veteran status to attend the Trials. This was pulled together very quickly to meet the need and was a true testament to the work we do for our Airmen and families through the Wounded Airman Program. We are currently working to fund ten warriors and caregivers selected for the team to attend a training camp at Hurlburt/Eglin in April. This is just the beginning and we are feeling our way through this new normal but the bottom line is that there is a great need out there to support these warriors who have given so much. We need to do all we can to ensure that we can continue to support them through their transition out of the Air Force. In some ways, they need us most as they go through the medical retirement process and lose their sense of Air Force community.
With this in mind, we have very aggressive fundraising goals for our Airmen and Family Programs fund. To donate, please visit www.afa.org/wap. We are also looking for corporate sponsorships and grant opportunities to grow our program to continue to support the growing needs of our heroes. Every little bit helps. If you know of any grant or corporate donation opportunities, please contact Kari Voliva at firstname.lastname@example.org. We know that there are so many AFA members out there dedicated to supported our wounded Airmen and their families…We need your help!
Thank you for your continued commitment to our wounded Airmen and their families!