Emerald Coast Guardian, Eglin AFA
March 31, 2017

President's Letter

Hello, fellow AFA members,
Hopefully, you and your family are enjoying our beautiful area during this spring break and are actively out and about serving, giving and living in this Paradise area.  Our Eglin Chapter of AFA has two big events in the next quarter: co-hosting the Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) Adaptive Sports Camp and the Education Recognition Night. (See articles below.)
We also have a Social in the works for May. There will be more to come from Colleen Smith, our VP for Community Partners. 
As we look to the future, in the September to October timeframe, we will support the 70th Anniversary Air Force Ball at Eglin.  By contributing funds, we reduce the ticket cost so that the lower ranks can afford to attend and participate in the variety of activities. 
After ten years of AFA Board service as the VP for Aerospace Education, Mike Farrell is forwarding the opportunity to someone else.  Marian McBryde  agreed to replace Mike after this year's 26 April Education Recognition Night as she is interested in reviewing the high school candidates submitting for the scholarships and managing the scholarship program. We  welcome her aboard.  We will sorely miss Mike's consistent dedication to providing good kids the dollars to advance their education.

Save the date for 2 November for our annual Scholarship fund raiser Golf Tournament at the Historic Eglin Golf Course! Last year we grossed about $50K for our scholarship programs.
There will be more professional consortium events, town halls, and possible areas you can support. We'll keep you posted.
Candace Lovell
Eglin AFA President

Do you know someone who wants to join AFA?
Help us spread the word! Do you know someone who wants to join AFA? If you do, please have them go to and click on the button that says "join".  Here's the link:

If it's someone who is already a member and wants to transfer to the Eglin Chapter, they go to and click on "Log in". It will prompt them to log in with their user name and password, create a username and password if they don't have an electronic account, or join if they're not a member.  Here's the link to that page:, but it's prominently displayed on the top banner of the home page. Thanks for your help!
Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) Adaptive Sports Camps 24 to 28 April 2017

The Eglin Chapter of the Air Force Association (AFA #365), has an opportunity for the third consecutive year to extend to our community to support our Air Force Wounded Warriors (AFW2) who will be coming to Eglin Air Force Base for five days.  The Eglin community will support the 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 will be held for five days from 24 to 28 April. The first 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 150 people, with 30 caregivers plus an additional 75 volunteers each day, or about 200 mouths a day.

This intense 7:30 am to 4:30 pm training is for a total of five days.  We come alongside the 96th Force Support Squadron staff at Eglin Air Force Base with supplemental resources to support this effort again this year. Last year, we were able to supply healthy snacks, water, Propel and homemade cookies. We assisted with the lunches and with the Wednesday night care event that included a table for the Air Force Association's Wounded Airmen Program. Overall, our resources are a significant way to make a contribution to people who have given their lives for our country.  
In short, this is an appeal for your assistance to get these items delivered daily to support these men and women in their endeavors as athletic champions. Please note that our AFA Chapter #365 is a tax exempt 501(c)3. You may make a check out to the AFA Eglin Chapter or provide donations to our Eglin AFA Vice President for Veterans, Dennis Krebs who can be reached at 850-855-3357 or email at  Please give generously knowing 100% of your contributions pour back into these lives.  Thank you for the numerous times you have supported community events and for your support of this incredible event!

Letter from the National AFA regarding Support for the Eglin/Hurlburt Camp for Wounded Warriors
I've already been working hard on fundraising for the Eglin/Hurlburt camp and we appreciate any support you can provide locally! Here are a few ideas of how your chapter can support. The most important thing is that we're all providing the support that is needed. Here are some initial ideas for support:

1. PDRL (permanently disabled retiree list) funding - This is my main focus in bringing in the warriors. I'm waiting on the final list but I'm estimating 10. I have applied for a few grants to help with funding.

2. Gift Bags - I have done these in varying quantities including for all 150 attendees to 25 caregivers to 75 for a combined group of caregivers, employment readiness participants and mentor training participants. For this, we could provide donations from local Community Partners and encouragement cards. In the past, I've provided hand drawn cards from local AE schools that the warriors loved!

3. Caregiver outing - This could be anything from a lunch to a "me time" activity. We typically have great support from the Eglin Chamber of Commerce/community but I can always offer more!

4. Dinner with PDRL Airmen - We could pick a night to take them out to dinner since AFA is "sponsoring" them.

5. Gift cards for PDRL Airmen - Last week, we provided $50 gift cards with a note that said please enjoy a meal on us from AFA. We don't cover per diems for these warriors so it was much appreciated.

6. Opening Ceremonies - With the new needs for PDRL Airmen, our focus will be less on the receptions until we can cover all the costs of the PDRL Airmen. The kick off event usually costs around $2-3k. If you are interested in helping to support that, then please let me know.

7. On base lunches/breakfasts/snacks/waters - These are typically coordinated through local groups on base such as the First Sergeants. We can offer to provide support for any of this or you may already be working through a contact on base.

There are so many opportunities to support and please know how appreciative we are of any support you are able to provide!


Kari Lynn Voliva
Vice President, Member and Field Relations
Air Force Association
703.247.5856 office
703.965.9306 cell

"Family can be a spouse, a parent, a child, a friend, a wingman, a neighbor. Our families sacrifice and serve along with us. Their strength is our strength." ~CMSAF James A. Cody

Eglin AFA Annual Education Recognition Night, 6 pm, 26 April at the Air Force Armament Museum
Our AFA annual Education Recognition Night is set for 26 April at the Air Force Armament Museum. The event begins 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 Hsu, ($5k) Gen Bill Kirk, ($3k) Doolittle and ($2k) Nabors.  (2 November 2017 will be the AFA Golf Tournament that will refill the treasury for next year's winners.)
Save the date for the Eglin AFA Doolittle Scholarship Open Golf Tournament!

The Eglin AFA Doolittle Scholarship Open Golf Tournament will be held on Thursday, Nov 2, 2017, at the Eglin AFB Golf Course. More details to follow.
AFA Members/Airmen for Life Call to Join AFA!

The Air Force Association is the voice for aerospace power and the Air Force family. AFA connects service members and the total Air Force family, through professional development, unique programs, and support initiatives before, during, and beyond time in uniform.

In his message from the President, General Larry O. Spencer, (Retired Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force), now AFA President/Airmen for Life, kicked off the year-long AFA initiatives of the Air Force’s 70th birthday celebration.  General Spencer noted we will re-energize General Doolittle's vision for AFA that we serve as THE organization for Airmen to serve the Air Force and Air & Space power for life -- whether Active, Guard, Reserve or Civil Air Patrol -- in Uniform or Civilian -- Active or Retired -- Student, Cadet or Family member.  We all believe in a dominant Air Force.  We all bleed blue.  We are all Airmen for Life.

70 New Members Challenge—AFA chapters represent the tip of the AFA spear. They represent our strength.  They are the foundation on which AFA was built.  As such, from January through September, General Spencer challenged each of our chapters to recruit 70 new members that will join our ranks as Airmen for Life.

Our chapter has over 1,000 members.  We are very fortunate to have almost half of our chapter enrolled as lifetime members.  We want you to have the same opportunity.  In 2016, 78 memberships expired.  Please take a moment to renew your membership via the link below.  We have several options available.
Join Now!
1 Year
Membership Annual Payment - $45
eMembership - $30
Join Now!
3 Year Triennial Payment... $110
(Save $25 off yearly membership)
eMembership - $75
Join Now!

New Community Partner, Coca Cola, receiving the AFA plaque.  Pictured Left to Right are Joe Bridges, Jay Tyra and Colleen Smith. 
FUEL Restaurant Quarterly AFA Member and Community Partner Social a Great Success!
Our Quarterly AFA Member and Community Partner Social was held on Thursday, January 19th. The event was held at the new FUEL waterfront restaurant behind the North Light Marina in Niceville.
In attendance from the Eglin and local communities: 
  • Col. Lance Pilch, 33 FW/CC
  • Col. Mark Pye, 53Wing/CV
  • Col. David Radomski, commander, Det 2, AFOTEC
  • Col Craig P. Johnson, commander, 96th Civil Engineer Group – Speaker
  • Col. Joel Cook, 505 CCW/CV, H.F.
  • CMSgt Brett Rogers, 505 CCW/CCC, H.F.
  • 1st Lt. Joshua Park, AFA, CGOC Past President 
  • Mac MacAloon, Vice Chairman of the Board, AFA State Field Operations
Also in attendance were: several community partners, plus Old Crow Board members and NDIA members, Paul Maryeski, Armament Museum Director, L/G Gordy Fornell, USAF, Ret, Bridge Authority, and Sal Nodjomian, Niceville City Councilman. 
Those mentioned and the AFA membership gathered to share the social and the impressive food and drink provided by Fuel.  Our speaker was Col. Craig P. Johnson, Commander, 96th Civil Engineer Group. As Eglin's base civil engineer, he leads a 900-person work force and executes a $146 million budget to provide all facility and infrastructure support for the Air Force's largest base consisting of over 3,000 facilities, 1,200 miles of roads and 465K acres of land valued at $5.7B. His responsibilities also include explosive ordnance disposal, disaster preparedness support and management of the Air Force's largest fire protection program. Col. Johnson led us to further understand the preservation of species of animals and the wide variety of Civil Engineering efforts on the vast properties of Eglin AFB. As always, it was an interesting and informative presentation. 
Chef Dan’s FUEL Restaurant at North Light Marina:

Photos by Eddie McAllister and Marian McBryde
Please join us for our next Community Partner Social at Dockside Oyster Bar and Café, Niceville with Dr. Devin Stephenson, President of Northwest Florida State College as our speaker on May 11th at 5 p.m. We look forward to seeing you!

Civil Air Patrol Awards Night held on March 6th with AFA Presentations by Colleen Smith
The 2017 Eglin Composite Squadron’s Civil Air Patrol Awards Dinner was held on Monday, March 6th at the First Christian Church.  AFA’s presence was requested in appreciation of our continual support for the Civil air Patrol.  Colleen Smith represented Eglin AFA and helped present the awards to the CAP students.   Pictured:
  • Lt. Col. Eric Duron, CAP Squadron Commander
  • Captain Doug Leathem, Narrator
  • Major Ben Poffenberger, CAP Florida Wing Group One
  • Colleen Smith, AFA Community Partners VP
The Civil Air Cadets participate in CyberPatriot, robotics, model rocketry, leadership training, aerospace education, and character development.  Cadets are eligible for orientation flights in light aircraft and gliders.  They also compete for flight training scholarships, various special activities, and the International air Air Cadet Exchange.  Local cadets have gone on to become leaders in industry and the military.  One former cadet was selected as one of the Air Force’s Twelve Outstanding Airmen in 2003; another is currently a major general in the Air Force. 
Josh Park, VP for Junior Force Outreach, leads Eglin CGOC to the top!
The Eglin CGOC was the top CGOC for the USAF in 2016. Our very own Josh Park, VP for Junior Force Outreach served as their President through December 31, 2016. Congrats to Eglin CGOC and to Josh!
Ryan Price, Mert Wagner Volunteer of the Year
Our very own Executive Committee member and VP for Military Relations, Ryan Price, was honored on January 6th by the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce with the Mert Wagner Volunteer of the Year "in recognition of his exceptional volunteerism, motivational leadership style and continuous promotion of the chamber...". An article was published in the NW Florida Daily News. Congratulations Ryan and Eglin AFA is fortunate to have you on our Board!
Dr. Paul Hsu featured in AFA Wingman Publication
Please be sure to enjoy the article championing Dr. Paul Hsu and his good works in this month’s digital issue of the AFA Wingman. Direct link to the article: For the full issue of the digital AFA Magazine, please use this link:

Community Partners
Community Partners are partnership businesses that want to assist AFA chapters by becoming involved in community efforts to support the United States Air Force.By forming a partnership with the local AFA Chapter, businesses help AFA fulfill their mission to promote a dominant United States Air Force and a strong national defense. Any business or organization can become a Community Partner.  Please contact Colleen Smith,, (850) 375-9251, our Eglin AFA Vice President for Community Partners, if you are interested. 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
Ann Shambo
St Joe Community Foundation: Janet Greeno, Exec Dir.
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
InDyne: Jeffery Riemer
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
Giovanni’s One 89
Schnitzel Lodge
Tintcrafters of Florida
Williams Insurance Agency
Chef Dan’s FUEL Restaurant at North Light Marina
Young Eagles Aviation Program, Puerto Rico
DS2: Robert Pruitt
Coca Cola: Jay Tyra
Northwest Florida State College: Dr. Devin Stephenson, President

January — March 2017
Volume 35, Issue 1 

Candace Lovell, President
Vice President (Vacant)
Shirley Pigott, Secretary
Steve Czonstka, Treasurer
Maj Gen (ret) Mike Kostelnik, Chair, Aerospace Education Foundation
Mike Farrell/Marian McBryde, VP Aerospace Education
Shirley Pigott and Pam Wilcox, VP Programs
Vickie Jones, VP Membership
Joshua Park, VP Junior Forces Outreach
Doug Leathem, VP CAP/Cyber Patriot
Colleen Smith, VP Community Partners
Ryan Price, VP Military Relations
Dennis Krebs, VP Veterans Affairs
Amy Gold, VP Communications
Eddie McAllister, VP Awards and Past President
Bill Yucuis, State President

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