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 returning 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 that provides scholarships across the Okaloosa Walton counties to top JROTC graduates (see details below).
- More Top Notch Speakers/Panels in the Eglin Professional Consortiums
- Participating in the Memorial Day events
- Attending events/lunches/dinners that promote AFA interest and community involvement
- AFA Membership Social in May or June (see details in upcoming mail)
I look forward to our AFA team continuing strong.
Eglin AFA Annual Education Recognition Night, 6 pm, 12 May at the Air Force Armament Museum
Our AFA annual Education Recognition Night is set for 12 May at the Armament Museum; it starts at 6:00 pm with food and the ceremony begins at 6:30 pm. Eglin AFA and the associated Aerospace Education Foundation will award over $10,000 in scholarships to deserving JROTC seniors.
We give each JROTC unit four $100 checks (one for each grade) to give to a student for academic performance and four $100 checks for demonstrated leadership.We should have 12 scholarships to recognize: Three ($2k) Senior Leadership, three ($3k, $2.5K, $2k) St Joe Foundation, two ($2k) Embry Riddle Aviation Institute, ($5k) Bert Daiberl, ($5k) Maggie Shu, ($3k) Doolittle and ($2k) Nabors. (3 November 2016 will be the AFA Golf Tournament that will refill the treasury for next year's winners.)
Eglin AFA Vice President Letter
Eglin Chapter regrets the loss of our Chapter Vice President, Lee Barnby who has transferred to Cocoa Beach. We are very glad for his career advancement, however, we will sorely miss him. Here's his farewell to us:
Dear friends at AFA’s Eglin Chapter 365,
While on business travel in late January, I received and accepted an unexpected job offer requiring me to relocate to Cocoa Beach, FL to support the Dept of State Air Wing. I had little notice…I traveled home the next Wed and left for Cocoa Beach on Saturday with what we could pack in the car. We’ve spent the last 2 months going back to Shalimar on weekends to pack and move our household goods, finishing our move this past weekend. It’s a terrific job and permits regular involvement with my family, as I have 2 kids and 2 grandkids in the Cocoa Beach area. The only disappointment is that I won’t be able to continue my personal involvement with one of the top chapters in AFA, the Eglin Chapter.
I have been hugely impressed with the caliber of people in the chapter and the breadth of impact of the chapter’s programs. As a former CA State and Far West Region President and through my involvement in multiple national councils, I’ve been fortunate to have had significant insight into the operations of a large number of chapters. I can tell you that Eglin is second to none in the number of people actively involved in chapter operations or the passion you bring in taking care of our nation’s Airmen and supporting STEM educational initiatives. Your fundraising achievements and financial state of health are far superior to most chapters, as is your outreach to Eglin AFB and the local community. Your relationship with base leadership is rock solid, an area that AFA struggles with more than most people realize. Your chapter’s performance is on par with those winning AFA Chapter of the Year awards...hopefully you have a golden pen putting together a nomination package for this year!
It’s been great privilege to have been a part of your chapter and to have witnessed the high degree of dedication and commitment you’ve shown to AFA’s mission. I’m very grateful to call you friends and wish you and yours the very best in the future!
Cheers, Lee Barnby
Eglin AFA brings support to the Air Force Wounded Warriors Adaptive Sports Camp and training for the Warrior Games
The Eglin Chapter of AFA for the second year extends to our community support to our Air Force Wounded Warriors (AFW2) who will be coming to Eglin Air Force Base for five days of training (4-8 April). The Eglin community will support 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. Part is for new athletes to come and see what they can participate in and try out for various events. The second part is for the athletes that have been selected to represent the Air Force during the Warrior Games; they will be practicing before going to the games in June. This training is amazing to be a part of and observe! The camps are expecting a total of 160 people, with 30 caregivers plus an additional 75 volunteers each day.
For the second year, our AFA Chapter has collected contributions from Chamber of Commerces, Military Affair Committees, Am Vet, local citizens, AFA members to support these men and women in their endeavors to build their lives.
The following are some of the thousands of dollars in like kind contributors for this year- donations are still coming in:
||Water 2 Pallets ($425)
|Grace Covenant Church
||10 boxes of trail mix bars from Sam's ($200)
|Red Clove Café
||50 Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars and 4 cases of water
||5 trays feeds 60 people Turkey on French Sub rolls and Baked Chips
||25 Chicken Salad Sandwiches and pan of Cuban Salad with ham and parmesian cheese
|Joe and Eddies
||50 1/2 sandwiches
||2 Pans of Veggie Pasta
||2 Mediterranean and Greek Salad pans
||4 Sandwich Trays feeds around 100 people
||160 Box Meals
|Top 3/Chiefs Group/5/6 and First Sergeants
||100 Box Meals
|Magnolia Grill/Association of Army
||120 Hamburgers/120 Hot Dogs
||10 cases of water
|Embry Riddle Eglin
||10 cases of water
|Holiday Inn Express Niceville
||10 cases of water
Snacks for the adaptive sports camp being procured by Grace Covenant Church
Eglin AFB is the Southeast Regional Training Center for Air Force Wounded Warrior athletes who will be participating in the 2016 Warrior Games, to be held in June
Base supporters are invited to welcome the athletes at the training's Opening Ceremony, set for 8 a.m. on Monday, April 4 at the Eglin Fitness Center. On Friday, April 8 the Eglin Community is invited to attend the Senior Leader Volleyball Scrimmage from 10:30 a.m.-noon, as well as the Senior Leader Basketball Scrimmage from 1:15-2:45 p.m., and the training's Closing Ceremony at 3 p.m.
70th Air Force Association Birthday Celebration and Eglin AFA Community Partners Social at the Holiday Inn
On Friday, February 19th
, the Eglin community gathered to share in the 70th
birthday celebration of the Air Force Association and to extend our appreciation to our wonderful Community Partners listed below for their support and generosity. Major General (Retired) “Ched Bob” Chedister shared his thoughts on the present and future of the AFA. The event was catered by the Dockside Café of Niceville and hosted at the Holiday Inn Express of Niceville. Stay tuned for our next Community Partners event!
First Flight is 15 and Going Strong!
Now in its fifteenth year, the Eglin AFA chapter’s First Flight program provides incentive flights to AFJROTC cadets. The chapter initiates the program, makes arrangements with the Aero Club and supports this project financially. On Saturday, February 6, 2016, twenty-seven cadets from nearby high schools, Choctaw, Ft Walton Beach, Niceville, and Walton, flew with the program. They were selected by their instructors competitively based on academic and leadership criteria to participate. Several of the cadets had never had any flight experience and most had only flown in an airliner.
The cadets are given a flight familiarization with a volunteer instructor pilot, to include twenty minutes of hands-on flight time, in an arrangement with the Eglin Aero Club. It has become a great incentive for AFJROTC cadets as they consider aerospace careers and is truly a life changing experience, as many of these cadets have never been in an aircraft of any type. By taking the front seat in one of three Cessna-172s next to a seasoned Aero Club instructor pilot, with an Air Force career background, these cadets an incredible introduction to flight often inspiring them to become future leaders in our US Air Force.
The success of this program doesn’t happen by accident. Detailed planning and scheduling of assets, resources and individuals include such things as a staggered show time for the students to prevent long wait times and having each pilot take three students at once, landing twice to allow seat swaps so each cadet gets a turn at the controls. The sorties are 20 minutes long, with a short trip over Choctawhatchee Bay and then back to the traffic pattern for landings (staying on tower frequency the whole time).
The leadership and hard work of the Eglin AFA Chapter has helped these future leaders seriously consider possible military/Air Force careers, encourages future AFA involvement and challenges them to simply explore their untapped potential. The families of these cadets consistently provide feedback that this is the best single program to influence their young adult’s career intentions. In light of the distinctive contributions of the Eglin Chapter has made in this highly visible and memorable area earned the AFA Florida’s Exceptional Service Award for Best Single Program for the First Flight Program.
Cadets participating were:
||Ft Walton Beach
(L to R) Julian LonDonovilla and Kody Eisenacher
This fantastic program could not have been made possible without the help of our three volunteer pilots from the Aeroclub were Chris Evans, Julian LonDonovilla, and John Thompson. Tom Randall ran the operations desk and assisted with prepping the planes. Gary Plumb coordinated the entire operation and has for many years.
First Flight Program Recognized for AFA Florida’s Exceptional Service Award for Best Single Program
Gary Plumb was presented with the AFA Florida’s Exceptional Service Award for Best Single Program for the First Flight Program for 2015 by Candace Lovell, Eglin AFA President.
(L to R) LTC Alan Gardner, Gary Plumb and Candace Lovell
Eglin AFA Provides STEM Outreach through Computer Donation
Lee Barnby, Eglin AFA Vice President presenting Computers to AMIkids
Our AFA Vice President, Lee Barnby, reached out to local Defense Contractors to donate any unused computers where needed in our local high schools. We wanted to increase the capacity of our Cyber Patriot youth in particular. Pam and Bud Decker also stepped up to donate 4 new computers to them. A huge thank you to Jacobs Technology of Ft. Walton Beach and Cliff Gornto, VP for Sales – Systems Acquisition, Logistics, Test, and Training for Jacobs.Cliff was quick to support the Eglin AFA Chapter’s STEM outreach by donating any unused computers, he was very enthusiastic and quickly arranged to provide approximately 20 desktop and laptop computers for our cause. Jacobs and InDyne, Inc, are very involved in supporting the local community, especially veterans and STEM initiatives.
AMIkids Emerald Coast is an Okaloosa County charter school located in Fort Walton Beach. At AMIkids, students are provided education, counseling, and career services. The program includes an after care monitoring and support module to ensure long term success and low recidivism. As part of the Information and Technology vocational training, the students learn computer hardware and software skills to enable them to obtain employment in computer related careers. The computers donated will provide hands-on experience for the hardware and software applications in information technology vocational unit.
There are a number of ways businesses can support AFA’s STEM outreach. One way is to donate computers that have been capitalized for use in supporting CyberPatriot and other educational initiatives such as this.
Civil Air Patrol Awards Night AFA Presentations
AFA Cadet of the Year was awarded to C/2dLt Brittany Fager. As Cadet Deputy Squadron Commander, C/2dLt Fager streamlined operations that provided smooth teamwork and efficient functioning at squadron. She also participated in squadron field trips to the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL, Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL; the Navy Dive School in Panama City, FL; and multiple SAR schools. Cadet Fager is a leader of the Cyber Patriot team and has helped to lead the team to achieve the highest scores of any team in squadron history. She also mentored newer members of the team to learn more about cyber security.She has mentored over 20 cadets over the years and many have gone on to achieve the Wright Brothers Award and higher.Cadet Fager has performed her duties in a manner that is clearly and unmistakably exceptional when compared to others of her rank and experience. She has brought great credit upon herself, the Squadron, and the Civil Air Patrol. She is deserving of the AFA Cadet of the Year Award for FL423.
The AFSA (AF Sargent’s Assoc) NCO of the Year award was presented to C/SSgt Abigail Thomasos. Cadet Thomasos is active in squadron and FLWG activities. She attended Winter Encampment; gaining key CAP skills and developed as a leader. She participated in several Orientation rides for CAP including glider flights; learning critical flight skills and advancing a key CAP mission, aviation education.Using her talent as a leader, Cadet Thomasos helped lead the Great Start program for the squadron. This led to more than ten cadets earning their Curry Awards. Cadet Thomasos is a member of the CyberPatriot team, learning cyber security techniques and helping the team achieve the best scores FL423 has ever had.She has brought great credit upon herself, the Squadron, and the Civil Air Patrol. She is deserving of the AFSA NCO of the Year Award for FL423.
AFA Presentations were made by Amy Gold, VP, Communications, Eglin AFA
AFA FL JROTC Drill Competition at USF (University of South Florida) on February 27th. Candace Lovell, Eglin AFA President attended and presented trophies.
Choctawhatchee Bay Chapter National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Honor Vietnam Veterans on the 50th Anniversary of the War
Retired USAF Pilot, LTC Steve Czonstka, veteran of 240 air combat missions, was honored by the Choctawhatchee Bay Chapter National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Honor Vietnam Veterans on the 50th Anniversary of the War. Steve serves as Treasurer of the Eglin Chapter of the Air Force Association.
If you were also honored, please let us know for our celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, details upcoming!
Walton High School Students receive AFA Awards
Walton ceremony was held on Wednesday, March 23rd
. Four $100 checks (one for each grade) to give to a student for academic performance and four $100 checks for demonstrated leadership.The following students received $100 awards from Eglin AFA. Presentations were made by Candace Lovell, Eglin AFA President.
AMAC Delegate for Florida’s Congressional District 01, Steve Czonstka, who is also a Heritage Action Sentinel, meets with his Congressman Jeff Miller Jan 28,2016 to discuss veterans issues. Congressman Miller is Chair of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
Our Annual Doolittle Golf Tournament is scheduled for November 3, 2016 at the Eglin Golf Course.
Thank you to our Community Partners!
|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: firstname.lastname@example.org
|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