Friday, January 13, 2012

AFA’s New Wounded Airman Initiative

AFA and its chapters have taken on a new initiative to help care for wounded Airmen as they make their way from the front line to their home. AFA Chapters around the world are participating in this effort along with the Air Force Recovery Care Coordinators to provide support to Airmen’s needs while in various phases of recovery.

When Airmen are injured and returning to the United States, they are typically bereft of their belongings. They do not have personal clothing or items with them, and are unprepared for their needs as they arrive to begin medical recovery. As they find themselves in hospitals and centers distant from loved ones, this new program was created to help ease their discomfort by offering a variety of both required and congenial items. These items range from immediate small sundries, gift cards, casual clothing, bags, entertainment and technology to connection with larger support agencies for longer term support. They may also require support for family members that may arrive to assist their recovery and rehabilitation.

Three AFA chapters are implementing the first phase of this new initiative: the Nation’s Capital Chapter and D.W. Steele, Sr. Memorial Chapter in the D.C. area and the Alamo Chapter in San Antonio. These three particular chapters were initially selected due to the volume of injured Airmen sent to the Army Medical Centers in their locations. These chapters, along with AFA Headquarters, are putting together packages of needed items for wounded Airmen who arrive at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD and at San Antonio Military Medical Center in San Antonio, TX.

At this time, this project is also monitoring wounded Airmen arriving in both Germany and Hawaii. In the near future the AFA will be following not only these arriving Airmen, but Airmen injured in the past and determining their needs and challenges as well as arranging for support in cooperation with the US Air Force and other Warrior Support Agencies. If you would like to contribute, we are accepting monetary donations at this time. Do not hesitate to contact Lois O’Connor at 703-247-5832 or for more information. Donations can be sent to her attention at AFA, 1501 Lee Hwy., 4th floor, Arlington, VA 22209, or can be sent electronically here.

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