Friday, October 17, 2014

AFA at the Warrior Games!

Honored.  This is a word I use to describe how I feel about AFA's opportunity to support our wounded Airmen. They have given so much at such a great personal cost and it is such a privilege to give back to them and support their recovery in any way we can.  AFA continues to make many efforts to show appreciation for the continued patriotism and dedication of our wounded warriors. 

Over the past couple weeks in Colorado Springs, AFA was proud to support the 40 Air Force Wounded Warriors competing in the Warrior Games in 7 paralympic style events including archery, swimming, shooting, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, archery, and track and field. Many caregivers accompanied their competing spouse alongside the Family Programs component, further highlighting the bonds of the Air Force Family.

AFA's Wounded Airman Program was a very involved supporter during the week leading up to the Games, providing materials and activities for caregivers and sponsoring the Family Programs that organized travel, lodging, and meals for two family members for each warrior across services. The families cheered on their Air Force blue with the AFA logo on their shirts, sweatshirts, water bottles, and cowbells. We helped host the Ops Center for the Air Force team, where AFW2 staff provided an information desk, schedules, directions, and full time support for the warriors' mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Our local Sijan Chapter hosted lunches throughout the week, keeping our Air Force in top form. And, to close out the week, our contribution to the closing ceremony and tailgate, attended by the SecAF, CSAF, and CMSAF, helped underwrite tickets for all warriors and their families to attend the football game at the Air Force Academy. Later, they were recognized on the field during the halftime presentation.

CMSgt of the Air Force James Cody with Ultimate Champion Captain Mitchell Kieffer and family.
To top it all off, one of our Air Force Association Cycling Classic athletes, Captain Mitchell Kieffer, was awarded the Warrior Games' Ultimate Champion title for the second year in a row. Weeks before the Games, Kieffer's racing bike was broken, and he called upon AFA's Wounded Airman Program to help replace the body of the bike to get him back in racing shape. Kieffer, like all the athletes on the Air Force Wounded Warrior team, has overcome incredible pain to reach the point of recovery he is today. It is an honor to be able to be a part of that journey with him and all the other Air Force warriors who have given so much.

As of September 1, 2014, 3,821 Airmen are enrolled and receiving services through the AFW2 program. That number is growing every day, and AFA's Wounded Airman Program is committed to serving every Airman through their recovery.

The dedication and tenacity of our wounded airmen inspires me to strive harder for success in all I do.  They continue to give to this nation, both while in recovery and afterward.   I encourage you to join in with AFA in support of our wounded airmen to show our gratefulness for all they have given.

Paula Roy, Director of AFA Airmen and Family Programs, at a previous event in 2013 with Wounded Airmen .
Get to know the team and the mission of AFW2 by viewing the attached pdf! And, learn more about the origins of our Wounded Airman Program, including how you can support, by visiting


Paula Roy
Director, Airmen and Family Programs