Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Volunteer Appreciation: 10 Years of Service

Below is an appreciative blog posting from a young Airman, Captain Robert Wray, who has volunteered with AFA conferences for 10 years now. AFA has been so grateful for his time, talent and dedicated service. His work with us has been immeasurable and has resulted in a decade of successful conferences. We've been so appreciative of his services that we honored him with a Volunteer Appreciation Award earlier this year at our February Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando.
(Left to right: Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley; AFA Volunteer Robert Wray;
and AFA Chairman of the Board, Sandy Schlitt, at AFA's 2012 Air Warfare Symposium.)
Guest blogger, Robert Wray:

"I joined the Air Force Association as a cadet in Arnold Air Society back in 2002. I liked to volunteer, but to volunteer and work with like-minded pro-military individuals - whether they served or not - was a no-brainer. Through Arnold Air Society, I was asked to volunteer at the 2003 AFA National Convention so that I could learn how to host my own events within the Arnold Air Society. I did well and have been volunteering ever since. I really enjoyed getting to meet the AFA employees and the diverse group of personnel who attend these conferences. I met a life member, Chief Master Sergeant Norm Marous, who despite being retired for almost two decades, still serves on the Vandenberg AFB Honor Guard. He gave me pointers about going on active duty and inspired me to join the Honor Guard - which I have volunteered with for all 6 years of my career.

Ultimately, volunteering with the AFA has been about the people and the opportunities. As a junior officer, I only get to see a small sliver of the national defense picture and work with limited types of professionals. At the AFA conferences, I get to meet people from all over the world, talk to senior researchers, academicians and industry members. I have also been fortunate to work directly with senior military leaders from all over the world. The different perspectives I encounter are invaluable and a welcome change to the sometimes myopic focus required of Air Force members at the tactical level like me. In the end, when I see a successful conference come to a close, I take pride knowing that not only did I work hard (and have a little fun), but I became a better person and officer through the experience.

I hope my efforts allowed guests to learn and develop too."

1 comment:

jass said...

I think volunteer is great way to meet with new peoples.

Volunteer abroad
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