ACA Initiatives UpdateShareThis
One of our most challenging initiatives was our Corporate Partner Program. ACA has now completed our first year with this initiative at full throttle. I am very pleased to report that it has been a great success and I am optimistic that it will get even better as we go forward. As such, we conducted a Partner Appreciation Bash at Magnolia Grill in Ft Walton mid-January. (Click here to view photos) We had around 50 folks in attendance. Our intent was to thank our partners and also show them what we are able to do with their assistance and encourage them to renew for 2012. To date we have had several companies indicate they are going to come aboard and some others that have upped their participation to a higher level for 2012. Below are some examples of our support to the Active Duty and past Air Commandos and their families enabled by our Corporate Partner Program. It is not all inclusive, but gives you some idea of where we are heading.
Over the last year or so we have evolved in to an organization dedicated to supporting Air Commandos past, present and future. We support all AFSOC unit’s Quarterly Awards, the Battlefield Airmen of the Year Awards, the Levitow Award at both Hurlburt and Cannon for Airmen Leadership Schools, the Commando Medic of the Year Award named after Hap Lutz, and have just taken over the AFSOC Squadron of the year award. We also have done a lot to support units in need.... for example, we provided 24 STS $1000 for a reception after the recent memorial for the three airmen lost in the Chinook late last year; we have funded some Special Tactics wounded warrior’s meals at Andrews Institute during their rehabilitation since the airmen were locally assigned and the government would not cover that portion of the prescribed plan for the rehab; we provided funds in a Spirit 03 gunship memorial earlier last year and we contributed $10,000 to SOWF in Gen Schoomaker’s name as he was our guest speaker at our recent banquet. At that banquet we gave awards to 24 airmen and young officers selected for the Commander’s Leadership Award. We also, through our corporate partner program, sponsored over 90 Airmen to come to the dinner free of charge. Many were some of AFSOC’s Wounded Warriors. We recently assisted five wives to travel to DC to give a surprise baby shower to a severely wounded warrior’s wife. Just before the holidays, we sent a small stipend to a widow of one of the Jockey 14 accident crewmembers whose family and she were struggling to make it through Christmas. We also contributed funds to assist a retired Commando’s wife as she stayed near a hospital away from home to support her husband’s recovery efforts after a severe accident. We sent $500 to the Ft Walton Beach Empty Stocking Fund and also some cash to Operation Warmheart at both Hurlburt and Cannon. We started a chapter program and have viable chapters at Mildenhall, Cannon, Washington DC area, Rocky Mtn Region, Kadena, and Kirtland. Hurburt and the Tampa area are in the process of standing up. And I could list several other efforts that we support. At present we have 26 Corporate Partners helping us with our efforts. In this edition you will see an ad that we ran in the Northwest Florida Daily news thanking our Partners publicly for their assistance. If you know any of the employees at these businesses please thank them in person for their support to Air Commandos Past, Present and Future.
Our other initiatives of looking for opportunities to support AFSOC have paid dividends as well. As you know we started several new annual awards programs at the AFSOC level to include the Hap Lutz Combat Medic of the Year, the Battlefield Airmen annual awards and have also taken on the AFSOC Squadron of the year Award. In addition, we are now proudly sponsoring an AF JrROTC medal and ribbon that will reach over 850 detachments all over the United States. As mentioned above our chapter program is going strong as well. Together all of these initiatives have resulted in 626 new members since August 2010 when we started the push. We are also seeing a very high percentage of old member annual renewals and a quite large percentage of conversions to lifetime status. Lastly, our new Journal continues to garner accolades from all around the globe. Our initiatives program is strong and getting stronger by day. This association now has the momentum to last in perpetuity. Thanks to all of our members for their continued support.