Emerald Coast Guardian, Eglin AFA
December 31, 2016

President's Letter
Dear Eglin Chapter #365 AFA Members, 
We can look back and say, “Whew, we made it through!” or, we can look forward and see the promise of the next year. Let's look forward to glance at some of the activities you are a part of and contribute to in 2017:
Quarterly AFA Member and Community Partner Socials. (See details below for the first Quarter)
AFA Education Recognition Night - May 2017 at the Air Force Armament Museum- giving scholarships to deserving seniors and the Teacher of the Year
Veterans- Eglin AFA attends and participates throughout the year in supporting our veterans. We attend:
Memorial Day Tribute
EOD Memorial Tribute
Veteran's Day Tribute
Veteran's Stand Down Day
We also support our veterans with the Air Force Wounded Warrior adaptive sports camp which will be hosted at Eglin in April (For the third year.) This year retired Chief Dennis Krebs will head our Eglin AFA team as we solicit support and finances to surround these men and women with our best.
AFA Awards- Eglin Chapter- we do a lot in our chapter and shine in the state and national awards. (See details below)
Thank you for your lives - the hours, years and lifetime of serving and supporting and defending the United States of America.  It is truly an honor to be a part of this chapter and to be among you.  May your 2016 end well and 2017 be a year of new growth, prosperity and health.
Candace Lovell, Eglin AFA President

Okaloosa/Walton Homeless Point-in-Time Count Assistance
*There are an estimated 109,000 homeless veterans on our nation’s streets on any given night. 
On January 23rd, we will need assistance during the Okaloosa/Walton Homeless Point-in-Time Count.  During this venue, we seek out our homeless veterans and non-veterans and physically count them and determine their needs. This also assists us in receiving grant money in our area to assist our homeless. Some statistics of our homeless veteran population:  23% of the homeless population are veterans. 47% served Vietnam-era. 67% served three or more years. 89% received an honorable discharge.

If you are interested in helping with our local Point-in-Time Count, please let me know.  You can call me at (850) 855-3357 or E-mail me at
Veterans Stand Down Day
The Okaloosa/Walton Homeless Veterans Stand Down served over 171 homeless clients, including 117 veterans and 54 non-veterans during a one-day stand down held on November 4th at the Striving for Perfection Ministries Church in Fort Walton Beach.  Although the primary focus is providing services for our homeless veterans, no one was turned away.  During the event, veterans received priority assistance with a wide range of services such as initiating enrollment into the VA healthcare and benefits system to receiving employment assistance, dental/medical care, haircuts, food stamp program enrollment, cold weather clothing and, of course, a hot meal.  Judge T. Patt Maney also provided Veterans Court to 33 clients on-site. Judge Maney is a “Founding Father” of the area’s homeless veterans stand down.

This year was a success because of community involvement by our numerous professional veteran service organizations and our dedicated volunteers.  We had over 246 staff/volunteers available at the event to assist our clients with direct services. We wanted to provide as many services at the venue as we possibly could, eliminating the need for lengthy follow-up appointments, if possible.

Dennis Krebs (USAF CMSgt, ret), Eglin Chapter AFA Executive Board member and Co-Chairman of the Okaloosa/Walton Homeless Veterans Stand Down, explains the various veteran services available for homeless clients to an Eglin AFB volunteer.
Pitsenbarger Award Presentation
On 17 November 2016, 96th Test Wing Brigadier General Christopher P. Azzano, guest speaker CMSGT Burton and Candace Lovell presented the Pitsenbarger Award to SSgt Taylor Lane, 96MDSS. It was one of the six Pitsenbarger Awards of $200 presented this year to Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) graduates who have completed their associate degree and plan to complete their baccalaureate degree.

Eglin AFA Chapter Treasurer, Steve Czonstka, who is also a Vietnam Veteran, presents the AFA wreath at the November 11, 2016 Veterans’ Day ceremonies at Doolittle Memorial Park in Valpariso, FL.

Eglin AFA Awards Luncheon
The Eglin Air Force Association’s 2016 Annual Awards luncheon was held on October 28th at the Air Force Enlisted Village in Shalimar, FL.  Eddie McAllister, Vice President of Awards for the Eglin Chapter of the Air Force Association was the master of ceremonies. A heartfelt and insightful invocation was given by long time board member and Past President, Bob Patterson. 

The AFA State Level Brereton Award is named after Lieutenant General Lewis H. Brereton, and is awarded to the civilian Florida resident who made the most outstanding contribution to airpower during the past year or multiple years. This year, it is awarded to JR McDonald, Vice President for Air Force Programs for Lockheed Martin Corporation.

The Eglin Chapter’s Exceptional Service Citation was awarded to Steve “Dawg” Madley. Dawg has been the Operations Manager for the annual Doolittle Scholarship Golf Tournament for the last two years.

Chapter Sustained Service Citations were awarded to Bob Patterson, Shirley Pigott, Dave Miller, and Mike Boles. Bob Patterson was Chapter President, State President, and a critical member of the golf committee since it was founded. Shirley Pigott was recognized for contributions as Secretary for both the Chapter and the Aerospace Education Foundation for over 8 years. Dave Miller spent years recruiting sponsors for the golf tournament and bringing them on board as Community Partners. For more than 10 years Mike Boles arranged, scheduled and supervised all the lady volunteers that helped on tournament day such as registration, selling mulligans, selling shirts, etc.

Eglin AFA Chapter Member of the Year is Colleen Smith. Colleen serves on the Executive Council as Vice President for Community Partners. She contributes immensely to the chapter’s effectiveness in managing the Community Partner program and has done an outstanding job of recruiting new community partners, renewing expiring Community Partner memberships and especially insuring that all community partners are integrated into the chapter activities.   She has revitalized the chapter’s events and programs, combining community partners as venue host and food/beverage donors, scheduling outstanding speakers and including new and prospective chapter members and Community Partners.    

The Eglin AFA was awarded the Florida Chapter of the Year, Extra Large Chapter and the Exceptional Service Award, Single Best Program; AF Wounded Warrior for our chapter’s efforts in the Spring of 2015.

Each year, Aerospace Education awards up to $30,000 dollars of scholarships to deserving Junior ROTC and Civil Air Patrol cadets. The Chapter has endowed four permanent aerospace education scholarships in perpetuity at Northwest Florida State College at a total value of $80,000.  The Chapter has also created the Jimmy Doolittle Teaching Chair in Mathematics and Science at the college with a $50,000 endowed gift.  Cash awards are given to local Community College of the Air Force graduates who receive Pitsenbarger scholarships from AFA National.  Eglin AFA supports STEM education locally, sponsors the Civil Air Patrols Cyber Patriot teams, and takes Junior ROTC cadets flying in an award winning First Flight program. This program received the Exceptional Service Award, Aerospace Education.

Colleen Smith, Candace Lovell and Mike Farrell also received State level awards.  Colleen Smith was awarded the Exceptional Service Citation for her work doubling the number of Community Partners and executing numerous social events with guest speakers. Candace Lovell was awarded the Sustained Service Citation for her Executive Committee involvement for over 15 years and for the Wounded Warrior Sports Camp she basically planned and executed herself. For seven years, Mike Farrell has championed the Eglin Chapter Aerospace Education scholarship award process and recognition night coordinating with the local schools and coordinating attendance of recipient families.  

At the National level, Eglin Chapter was awarded the Exceptional Service Award for Airmen and Family Programming for their support of the AF Wounded Warrior Sports Camps, their Fisher House 5K in 2015 supported airmen, veterans and their families, and their education and scholarship programs support airmen and many of our scholarship winners are from Air Force families.  Eglin AFA also supports the Air Force Enlisted Village, a place where Air Force widows and retirees can come to live. 

The Eglin AFA Chapter is honored to receive these awards and is proud to be recognized by AFA for our contribution to aerospace power and a strong national defense and our commitment to “Educate, Advocate and Support.”
Annual Doolittle Scholarship Open Golf Tournament

This year, the Eglin Chapter Air Force Association Education Foundation sponsored our 44th Annual Doolittle Scholarship Open Golf Tournament on 3 November 2016. The venue was the historic Eagle Course at the Eglin AFB Golf Course.  Originally built in 1922 as a 9-hole course, William Langford and Theodore Moreau redesigned the course in 1927 to incorporate 18 holes as the Valparaiso County Club. The Air Force acquired the course in 1949 from the Plew family and has operated the course since then.
We thank the businesses that supported our AFA Golf Tournament! Through their generosity, we were able to provide door prizes to all golfers totaling 102.  Each golfer received a “goodie bag” containing a sleeve of golf balls, towel, tees along with pens, coasters, and gift certificates from Little Caesars, Hurricane Grill, Edwin Watts and Golds Gym.  Our silent auction generated approximately $2,600 from golfers and volunteers with a wonderful assortment of 27 high value items. Additionally, local merchants provided coffee and donuts for the golfers and volunteers in the morning. 

The tournament enabled the Education Foundation to raise over $43,000 in donations to support college scholarships for deserving young high Junior ROTC and Civil Air Patrol members. Thanks to the generosity of our local defense contractors, local businesses, and individual golfers we were able to significantly increase our scholarship fund this year. A special thanks to Allen Turner Chevrolet of Crestview for providing a Hole-in-One vehicle prize and to the NDIA Gulf Coast Chapter for sponsoring another Hole-in-One cash prize. Additional kudos to  Derek Turner (Director of Golf) and Ryan Hall  (Tournament Coordinator) at the Eglin Golf Course for their outstanding support of our tournament.
None of this would have been possible without countless volunteers who we owe a debt of gratitude!
Stay tuned for more information on next year’s tournament! Please contact Steve Czonstka at, 850-897-5306 for sponsorship information. Please visit We will have updated information as we get closer to the date.

Quarterly AFA Member and Community Partner Social at the FUEL Restaurant at North Light Marine on January 19th

Our next AFA Member and Community Partner Social will be held on Thursday, January 19th at 5 p.m.  Join us at the new FUEL waterfront restaurant behind the North Light Marina in Niceville for complimentary appetizers/tapas and a cash bar.  Our speaker is 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. As always, it is sure to be an interesting and informative presentation. 

Chef Dan’s FUEL Restaurant at North Light Marina:

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: JefferyRiemer
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

October — December 2016
Volume 34, 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, VP Aerospace Education
Shirley Pigott and Pam Wilcox, VP Programs
Vickie Jones, VP Membership
Doug Leathem, VP CAP/Cyber Patriot
Colleen Smith, VP Community Partners
Ryan Price, VP Military Relations
Dennis Krebs , Veterans Affairs
Amy Gold, VP Communications
Eddie McAllister, VP Awards and Past President
Bill Yucuis, State President

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