During the second quarter our chapter has significant contributions to the Eglin Community as we educate, advocate and support:
- The Wounded Warrior Adaptive Sports Camp returned for the second year to Eglin (where the AFA and community provide food and drink to the Warriors, their support people and family while they participate) (see details below).
- The 12 May Education Recognition Night provided scholarships across the Okaloosa Walton counties to top JROTC graduates (see details below).
- More Top Notch Speakers/Panels in the Eglin Professional Consortiums
- Participated in the Memorial Day events (see details below).
- Attending events/lunches/dinners that promote AFA interest and community involvement
- AFA Membership Social with Brigadier General Shaun Morris (see details below).
I look forward to our AFA team continuing strong.
Candace Lovell, Eglin AFA President
Eglin AFA Chapter is Honored with National AFA Awards and Florida State AFA Awards
Eglin Chapter had a very successful year, under Eglin Chapter president Eddie McAllister, as evidenced by our recognition at both the state and national levels. Here's a quick list of the awards Eglin Chapter won:
Unit Exceptional Service Award for Airmen and Family Programming; awarded for our work supporting the AF
Wounded Warriors and the Adaptive Sports Camp here at Eglin.
Florida AFA Unit Awards
Extra Large Chapter of the Year
Exceptional Service Award, Single Best Program, AF Wounded Warrior Support
Exceptional Service Award, Aerospace Education
Exceptional Service Award, Veteran's Affairs
Florida AFA Individual Awards
Exceptional Service Citation -- Colleen Smith
Sustained Service Citation -- Candace Lovell, Michael Farrell
Eglin Chapter Member of the Year -- Colleen Smith
General Lewis H. Brereton Award -- J.R. McDonald, Vice President Government Affairs – Air Force Programs, Lockheed Martin Corp
The Brereton award is for the civilian Florida resident who has made the most outstanding contribution to airpower during the past year or over a multiyear period. J.R. McDonald was nominated for his overall support of Air Force programs, and specifically for his efforts to stand up the F-35 capability at Eglin AFB.
The Chapter is planning to celebrate the above awards with an awards luncheon at a date to be determined in late September or early October. Stay tuned for details. Your chapter is doing great things for airmen, their families and the US Air Force. Thanks to all the volunteers who made this past year so successful!
AFA Quarterly Community Partner and Member Social at the Schnitzel House/Biergarten, Bluewater Bay
On Thursday, April 28th, the Eglin AFA Chapter hosted another wonderful quarterly Community Partner and Member Social. This time, the event was well attended at Bluewater Bay's Biergarten, http://schnitzel-lodge.com/
. Brigadier General Shaun Morris, Program Executive Officer for Weapons and Director, Armament Directorate at Eglin Air Force Base spoke on his weapon portfolio and current concerns. The wonderful German meal served in the garden was delicious. Gen Morris' speech was insightful and very interesting with relation to current events.
Steve Czonstka manned a booth at “Saturday In The Park” at the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida in Valparaiso, an Eglin AFA Community Partner on April 30 encouraging memberships and businesses to become Community Partners and join Eglin AFA.
Eglin AFA Annual Education Recognition Night, 6 pm, 12 May at the Air Force Armament Museum
The Eglin AFA Annual Education Recognition Night was held at the Air Force Armament Museum on May 12th
honoring our local scholarship winners and our teacher of the year. The Honor Guard from Fort Walton Beach High School presented the Colors and Chief Reginald Washington sang the National Anthem. Candace Lovell was the Master of Ceremonies and Bob Patterson gave the Invocation. The Superintendent of Okaloosa County Schools, Ms. Mary Beth Jackson was our guest speaker delivering a challenging word on true GRIT. She and Major General Mike Kostelnik, our Aerospace Education Foundation Chair, distributed over $10,000 in the awards for the following areas:
Senior Leadership $2000 College Scholarship
Niceville Senior Leader - Cadet Michael Wells
FWB Senior Leader - Cadet Colonel Jordan Thomas
Choctaw Senior Leader –Cadet Carrisa Bunnell
$2,000 Outstanding Leader Scholarship
Choctaw HS Embry Riddle Aerospace University’s Okaloosa Aerospace Academy – Shelby Linafelter
Crestview HS Embry Riddle Aerospace University’s Okaloosa Aerospace Academy – Luke Shetler
Jerry Nabors Memorial Scholarship - $2000 - Cadet Second Lieutenant Alexyis Sellers
St Joe Community Foundation Senior Academic Award - $2,000 - Cadet Mark Shinberger
St Joe Community Foundation STEM Scholarship - $2,500 - Cadet Rhi-Ann DeRycke
St Joe Community Foundation Senior Leadership Scholarship - $3,000 - Cadet Vincent Elio
Jimmy Doolittle Memorial Scholarship - $3,000 - Cadet Jacob Barnes
Daiberl Family Holdings STEM Scholarship - Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Renato John Leon
Maggie Hsu Scholarship - $5,000 - Cadet James Welaha
2016 Eglin Chapter Teacher of the Year - Major Scott Bates, Air Force ROTC from Choctaw High School
Eglin Chapter Teacher of the Year
The 2016 Eglin Chapter Teacher of the Year is Major Scott Bates, Air Force ROTC at Choctaw High School.
This award is given, in the spirit of Christa McAuliffe for demonstrated excellence in education and in recognition of sustained & outstanding performance as an educator and unequalled dedication to ensuring that America’s students are prepared for future aerospace technology challenges. He received $500 from the Eglin AFA Aerospace Education Foundation and then an additional $250 from AFA Headquarters.
In 2012, Scott attended the Air Force transition assistance program (TAP) as he prepared for retirement from his 22 year Air Force career; he heard the Choctaw High School was seeking a Junior ROTC instructor. During the two years teaching at Squadron Officer's School at Maxwell AL Scott realized he enjoyed teaching and wanted to pursue a vocation of teaching. He has been an instructor at Choctaw for four years now. Scott and his wife Kendra and their three children had fallen in love with the Fort Walton Beach area and are happy to put down roots in Fort Walton Beach to raise their eleven-year-old twins and nine-month-old daughter.
Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field and the Community have been the BEST Support We have Received for Two Years Running!
The Eglin Chapter of the Air Force Association (AFA #365), had an opportunity for the second year to extend to our community to support our Air Force Wounded Warriors (AFW2) who came to Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field for five days of training. The community supported these Wounded Airmen Adaptive Sports Camps, held at no cost to airmen around the country, to foster teamwork, community, leadership, and a sense of mission during various stages of recovery. These camps, and the selection process leading up to the annual Warrior Games, are transformative for the airmen and their families, and AFA is there to be a part of that.
The camp was held for five days from 4-8 April. This combined the two weeks we supported last year into one: first group is "Warrior care" for potential new athletes to come and see what they can participate in and try out for various events. The second group is for the Air Force Warrior Games Competitors that have been selected to represent the Air Force during the Warrior Games; they practiced before going to the games in June. This training is amazing to be a part of and observe! The camps included a total of 160 people, with 30 caregivers plus an additional 75 volunteers each day, or about 200 a day.
This intense 7:30 am to 4:30 pm training was for a total of five days. We come alongside the 96th Force Support Squadron Fitness staff at Eglin and Hurlburt Field with supplemental resources to support this effort again this year. We were able to supply healthy snacks and drinks, homemade cookies, pizza and soda, support an opening night social and Wednesday Care Night where we introduced many of them to AFA. Overall, our resources are a meaningful way to make a contribution to people who have given their lives for our country.
All week they continued to humbly say "thank you" because they were touched by the simple acts of giving. They had plenty of water, Gatorade products for their water, healthy snacks, fruit, and lunch items. At the end they said: "We look forward to returning next year. Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field and the community have been the BEST support we have received for two years running."
We are grateful to be a contribution in support of the Air Force Wounded Warriors- both those who began their care program with this as a first time event, and those headed in June to the Warrior Games in West Point, New York.
Final day gathering of the Warriors celebrating their week.
A sample of the food, water, snacks, fruit that were donated for the Air Force wounded warrior week.
Kari Hahn from AFA headquarters, Susan Ault Davis from Hurlburt AFA and Eddie McAllister from Eglin AFA invite the Wounded Warriors and their caregivers to become AFA members at the CARE (Cooperative for Assistance Relief Everywhere) event.
Memorial Day Program
On 27 May (Friday), the Air Force Research Laboratory's Munitions Directorate (AFRL/RW) hosted the Memorial Day Roll Call at the Air Force Armament Museum. In only its second year, this event was initiated and planned by Doctors Jeffery and Monica Allen, to honor local U.S. military men and women who died while serving in all wars from WWII to present conflicts. After the posting of the colors by the Eglin AFB Honor Guard, a moving rendition of the National Anthem by the Eglin Quartet, and an inspirational invocation by Chaplain (Major) Ronald Ragon, Col Matthew Higer, Vice Commander, 96th Test Wing, made some opening remarks. Col Higer was followed by two keynote speakers -- CMSgt (ret) Brooke McClean, President and CEO of the Air Force Enlisted Village, and Dr Richard Hallion (SES, retired), former USAF Historian. After the motivational words by the speakers, the group moved outside for a rendition of taps by an AF Bugler, followed by a flyby of vintage aircraft in a missing man formation. The group then moved inside for the Roll Call of the Fallen Service members. Past President and current Eglin AFA Board Member, Eddie McAllister, led off approximately 13 presenters reading the roll call. This ceremony was a moving tribute to fallen service members in the true spirit of Memorial Day.
Steve Czonstka Presenting Eglin Chapter AFA Wreath at 2016 Memorial Day Ceremony at Doolittle Park in Valparaiso
May 7 EOD Memorial
Hundreds attended the annual Explosive Ordinance Disposal Memorial for all services. USAF General Mark Anthony Welsh III, the 20th Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force gave a heartfelt key note speech recognizing the extreme sacrifices for us of these dedicated soldiers. His wife joined him afterwards to greet the attendees.
Candace Lovell, Colleen Smith and Gen & Mrs Welsh
Lockheed Martin Joins Eglin AFA as a Community Partner, Again!
The AFA Eglin Chapter would like to thank Lockheed Martin for their 20 years of continued support as a Community Partner and Sponsor of the AFA and Doolittle Golf Tournament! Lockheed Martin has been an Eglin AFA Community Partner since 1996. This year their Senior Manager, Sven Knutson, pictured below, will be the point person for the NDIA Symposium which precedes the Eglin AFA Tournament on November 3, 2016.
Sven Knutson, Senior Manager, at Lockheed Martin and Colleen Smith
Eglin AFA “Tennis Social” held at the Bluewater Bay Tennis Club on May 27
Our Eglin AFA Socials are truly superb community events and this one was no exception! Eglin AFA hosted a tennis social at the Bluewater Bay Tennis Club on May 27th
with Hurricane's catering chicken salad lettuce wraps, pork sliders, and Buffalo wings. The Holiday Inn Express provided the beer, wine, sodas, and ice cold water bottles. Tennis Pros were on the court and were available for 101 lessons and questions.
Mark your calendar for Thursday, July 28th
from 5 pm – 7 pm. Our next Eglin AFA Social is going to be at the Café’ Italia http://www.cafeitaliafwb.com/
in Fort Walton Beach with Sunset Cruises provided by The Freedom Boat Club
! Please be on the lookout for an invitation and join us!
Our Annual Doolittle Scholarship Open Golf Tournament is scheduled for November 3, 2016 at the historical Eglin Golf Course. Thank you again to those businesses who have supported our AFA Golf Tournament! Please contact Steve Czonstka at firstname.lastname@example.org, 850-897-5306
for sponsorship this year.
The Eglin AFA community partners either pay $90 for membership or provide over $500 in kind donations. We have generous donors to the Eglin AFA Annual Doolittle Scholarship Open Golf Tournament and those who support our community events. Please contact Colleen Smith, our Eglin AFA Vice President for Community Partners, for more information or to come on board. We welcome you along with the following:
|Raytheon: Dave Andrews
|Bert Diaberl- Family Scholarship
|Investments Unlimited-Cliff Long
|Jacobs Technology Inc.: Donna Mills
|Lockheed Martin Corporation
|Paul S. Hsu Trust
|Boeing: Robert W. Marinan
|St Joe Community Foundation: Janet Greeno, Exec Dir: email@example.com
|Bill & Nancy Kirk
|Odyssey Systems Consulting Group LTD
|Orbital ATK, Inc: Bob Blake
|Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa
|Lamar Outdoor Advertising: Joseph Raines
|Heritage Museum of NWFL: Gina Marini
|ZT Motors, BMW of Fort Walton Beach: Sagis Johnson
|Allen Turner Chevrolet: Jeffery Henson
|Meggitt Defense Systems: Mike Pattison
|DCS Corporation: Gary Plumb
|Tropic Express: Joshua Hobbs
|Dockside Café & Oyster Bar
|Magnolia Grill: Tom Rice
|Classic Catering: Dennis Ritter
|Air Force Enlisted Village: Scott Delveau
|Holiday Inn Express Niceville-Eglin AFB: Colleen Smith
MEI Technologies: Bruce Marshall
Pen Fed Credit Union