AFAF, there when you need it

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jessica Haynie
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. – Airmen and families can find themselves in difficult financial positions without ever seeing it coming. You just paid your car note, had to get new tires and the phone bill also took its share of your paycheck. You are low on money, but all around not in a tough spot. That is, until some unforeseen event occurs costing way more money than you have.

The Air Force Assistance Fund (AFAF), was created specifically for this reason and consist of four official charities, the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS), Air Force Enlisted Village (AFEV), Lemay Foundation and the Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation (AFVCF).

Airman 1st Class David Pope, 14th Comptroller Squadron financial manager, found himself in one of these unforeseen events when he was an E-2. He, his wife and child were new to Columbus AFB at the time.

“There was a family emergency that came up back home but I could not take my family back without facing financial hardship,” said Pope. “I discussed my situation to my leadership and within four days I had a check providing me with the money to purchase roundtrip tickets for my wife, child and myself.”

Situations like these are where the different charities and foundations that the AFAF donates too comes into play.

The AFAS works to support and enhance the U.S. Air Force and Space Force missions by providing financial assistance to Airmen for things such as emergency financial assistance and education.

“I did not even know this existed until I needed it and my leadership pointed me in the right direction,” said Pope. “The AFAS helped me when I needed it so I will always advocate and donate, as well as encourage others to donate.”

The AFEV’s mission is to provide a home for surviving spouses of retired enlisted Airmen. Widows will be provided two living options, either Bob Hope Village, an independent living facility, or Hawthorne house, an assisted living and memory support residence.

The Lemay Foundation provides support to widows and widowers of Airmen and Guardian retirees. Grants are available to both enlisted and officer spouses.

Much like the AFEV, the officer counterpart, AFVCF, provides critical care and housing to widowed spouses.

“The whole reason I am transparent with my experience is because I want Airmen to know they are not alone,” said Pope. “There are avenues the Air Force has open to assist you if things go wrong. Too many of us feel like our lives are completely separated from the military so we feel our problems at home should not mesh with work.”

Columbus Air Force Base is currently in full swing for the annual AFAF campaign with a goal of $23, 065. The end of the campaign is approaching but there is still time to donate.

“Just a few dollars a month will ensure your fellow Airmen will have the assistance they need when they need it most,” said Col. Seth Graham, 14th Flying Training Wing, commander. “To put this in perspective, if every Active Duty member at Columbus AFB gave just two dollars a month we would raise $35,000.”

These entities rely heavily on donations to help Air Force and Space Force members when they are faced with financial difficulties in their lives, however big or small they may be.

To donate, please use the following link: