Thursday, November 3, 2011

Washington Perspective -- AFA

AFA members, as I meet with many of you, I am constantly amazed how many of you don’t know the great work the Air Force Association is doing for its membership. But … it’s not really your fault … as we haven’t done a good job in informing you of our many activities in the Washington arena [yes … the metaphor harkening back to the gladiator days is intentional].

For example – did you know that the Air Force Association created the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year Program? It occurred in the mid-1950s to recognize those Airmen who the country could not “afford” to adequately compensate for their service to our nation.

Did you know it was the Air Force Association which came up with the idea to build the Air Force Memorial (AFM)? And it was the Air Force Association which created the Air Force Memorial Foundation – which raised the private funds to build the Memorial.

Did you know it was the Air Force Association which came up with the idea to create the Community College of the Air Force?

It is the Air Force Association which funds scholarships and grants for spouses and other family members of our great force.

It is the Air Force Association which fights for your pay and benefits on Capitol Hill – not a trivial issue in these budget cutting times.

And it is the Air Force Association which fights for Airpower – keeping Airmen and their families in the forefront of the national debate.

So, about once per week, I will send you an email with the intention of bringing to your attention issues, op-eds, think-tank reports, and AFA activities on the Hill. As always, you can opt out of this communication. The only difference between Washington Perspective pieces and my notes is that while I will read your responses to Perspective, I will not answer you as I do with your responses to my Notes from the President. I just don’t have time to do so.

We will place all of the Washington Perspective emails and a number of other materials on the web … so if you misplace the note or are away from your computer, you can find past notes and other material at your convenience. More on that in a later Perspective.

For your consideration. Mike

Michael M. Dunn

Air Force Association


John Schwendler, TSgt, USAF, Ret said...

AFA. AFSA. ROA. NCOA. VFW. AL. AL AUX. A list of all associations that exist to support veteran causes would fill this page, and then some. What I don't see is a whole hell of a lot of effectiveness. I keep getting unsolicited requests in my mail box for donations for this memorial, and that cause. Recently such mail was accompanied by a calculator and a calendar, along with the ubiquitous address labels and Christmas card offerings. In the meantime, my retired pay has gone down some fifty bucks monthly in order to pay for the increase in dental care. My Tricare Standard leaves me paying 25% of all bills. I haven't worked in two years. I am not quite destitute, but am headed there. My savings are gone. My only recourse appears to be flying down to Nicaragua and standing in line with the natives. They seem to receive free health care every time Luke AFB medics, 8 miles from my house, fly their infamous humanitarian missions. How about humanitarian stuff starting at home? How about a govt. living up to its promises? How about I stop getting calculators and calendars and memorial donation solicitations, and I start reading where all these wonder veteran organizations actually get through to Congress, that cutting retiree benefits is the wrong path to budge balancing. One: our budget isn't supposed to be balanced. Two: military people already have done their damn part. Enoug is enough. And McCain wants to fiddle with Tricare? Perhaps Congress should fiddle with its own benefit package first. You know, set the example for the rest of the country. There's a reason the Occupy Movement exists.

Paul Rodriguez, Major, USAF (Ret) said...

AFA's activities and projects are certainly impressive, and indicative of the organization's strength in getting things done. Some things, anyway. But, has anyone at AFA headquarters noticed that the life insurance company that AFA suports, endorses, and recommends, has a specific exclusion for aviation other than commercial passenger airlines? We're Air Force people, remember? Some of us flew in battle, some of us flew on Sundays, some of us even learned at Air Force flying clubs. Our Association's endorsed company will cover traffic fatalities (some 50,000 per year in the U.S.) but excludes general aviation, whose fatality rate is minuscule. I would liken your policy to the Navy League' endorsed insurance company covering nothing but cruise liners. You still flying, Mike? I hope you're insured with a better company than you endorse.......