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NEWS | Oct. 3, 2016

AFAS programs assist Airmen, families

By Beverly Joyner 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Oil change vouchers, free child care, interest-free loans, scholarship grants and personalized financial reviews are just a few of the invaluable resources available to Airmen and their families through the Air Force Aid Society.


Established in 1942 as the official charity of the U. S. Air Force, the AFAS, located in Arlington, Virginia, promotes the Air Force mission by helping Airmen and their families with personal emergencies, educational goals and other programs to improve readiness.


According to Tanya Jernigan, Joint Base Langley-Eustis Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness specialist, the society’s three tiers of assistance include community enhancement programs, educational resources and emergency assistance.


“We act as liaisons between the headquarters and service members,” said Jernigan. “We coordinate to ensure that we’re not only providing the necessary assistance and resources, but we also seek their guidance to effectively support the program.”


Two of the most widely-used programs include Falcon loans and standard emergency assistance. Falcon loans feature interest-free loans of $750 or less and are used to meet short-term emergency needs.


For requests that do not fall within Falcon loan guidelines, a standard emergency assistance application is required, which may involve additional documentation. For example, financial assistance can be provided for food, car repair, rent payments, emergency travel or other no-fault hardships.


“Our job is to pull back the layers and assess to verify if there is a valid need,” said Jernigan.


Other financial assistance resources include a personalized financial review and referrals to local consumer counseling agency partners. Jernigan said the center’s accredited financial counselor can provide free credit scores for Airmen and their families.


Next, the community enhancement programs tier includes Give Parents a Break child care, Bundles for Babies gift cards, Child Care for permanent change of station program, a phone card program for deployed Airmen and family child care providers for people volunteering at Langley.


“Our Heart Link program is for families that are new to the Air Force to get them acclimated to the military way of life,” said Jernigan. “We encourage our service members to get the information out to their spouses so they can come in and start establishing relationships.”


The AFAS also has a program designed to keep the primary family vehicle of deployed Airmen in good running condition. The Car Care Because We Care oil change program provides assistance for preventive vehicle maintenance on a one-time basis.


In addition, oil change vouchers are provided to Airmen deployed for more than 30 days, on one year remote assignments and first-term Airmen assigned to their first duty station.


"The [Air Force Aid Society] is a great non-profit designed for service members and their families," said Sarah "Sally" Corey, A&FRC supervisory community readiness consultant. "They do so many great things and families need to take advantage of the programs that they provide."


Finally, the educational resource program features the General Henry H. “Hap” Arnold Grant program. The competitive grant program provides need-based assistance to Airmen and their families.


 “The readiness center also provides readiness outreach counselors who are assigned to different squadrons,” said Jernigan. “We always ask the commanders and first sergeants for their support as we visit squadrons to discuss our valuable outreach services.”


Operating as a non-profit organization and funded entirely by donations, the AFAS’s assistance programs are open to active-duty Airmen, retirees and Air National Guard and Reserve personnel on extended active-duty over 15 days, under Title 10 orders.


Service members can apply for emergency financial assistance online at For more information about Air Force Aid Society programs, call (757) 764-3990.