I first joined AFSA in November of 1990. It was at the end of my NCO Leadership School at Ellsworth AFB. Chapter 951 gave away a free 1-year membership to all the graduates. I noticed how much the Lifetime Membership was at the time and that you could pay $25/quarter so I applied their membership to that and didn't think about it again.
Although I dabled in AFSA while at Holoman/Schriever/Knoxville MEPs, it wasnot until September 2004 was when my involvement with AFSA realy took hold. I had just arrived at Buckley and was invited to a meeting by my sponsor and the rest is history. They asked me to build the chapter website which won AFSA's Chapter Website of the Year, I was a Chapter Vice-President/President, Division Communications/Legislation, anything I was asked to do.
My involvement didn't stop there. When I came to Ellsworth in 2008 I dove in headfirst. I started with the Chapter, within a year the Division and have even made an Impact at the International level. Does anyone remember that thing about National Military Associations?
I've enjoyed what our chapter has been able to do for our community and for AFSA as a whole. We have put together a team that has made an impact on the Black Hills and Ellsworth and it is because people within the chapter have stepped up the same way I did in 2004, just by showing up.
Now we are making an impact on AFSA by raising the bar and thinking outside the box on things AFSA can have a voice with. Take for instance Kevin Ott's BAH survey. What started out with one intention transpired into something bigger.
And then there is the question, Why AFSA? I answer that with another question, Who Else? Think of at least one thing AFSA has had a part in that has effected you personally? For me that would be concurrent receipt. AFSA fought that battle for over 19 years and the outcome has made a big differnce in my life. It made the lifetime membership I bought well worth it and then some.
Maybe you are an Airman just starting out and you have your one issue AFSA is fighting for. Don't give up and when you hit the 20 year mark then it could happen. I leave you with this, if you don't think AFSA is doing enough then what are you doing about it? You are the future leaders of AFSA and us "Old timers" are ready to gladly step aside and offer our support.
Are you AFSAfied?
Update from Division 3 Family Matters Trustee, Jean Kolwitz.