For Immediate Release
January 10, 2013
Wounded Airman Rallies Community Support
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Recently, an Air Force Recovery Care Coordinator at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center reached out to the Air Force Association (AFA)’s Wounded Airman Program to seek help in fulfilling a wounded Airman’s request. Staff Sergeant Brian Williams, who lost his left leg as a result of an IED explosion while on a mission in Afghanistan in April 2012, wanted to see the Redskins playoff game, which was due to take place three days later, January 6, 2013. What made this request particularly compelling was that this particular airman never asks for anything.
After numerous emails, phone calls and community-wide outreach, his request was able to become a reality. AFA’s Thomas W. Anthony Chapter partnered with Eastern Automotive Group, also known as Eastern Motors, in Arlington, Virginia, to present the airman and his guest with seats in their company box at the stadium.
But this isn’t the first partnership this company and that chapter have had. Recently, through the Thomas W. Anthony Chapter, Eastern Motors donated a van to a wounded airman. They have also joined that chapter as an AFA Community Partner.
AFA’s Wounded Airman Program began in early 2012 when AFA and its chapters across the country started a new initiative to help care for wounded airmen as they make their way from the front line to medical care facilities and then on to their home. When Airmen are injured and returning to the United States, they are typically bereft of their belongings. They do not have personal clothing or items with them, and are unprepared for their needs as they arrive to begin medical recovery. As they find themselves in hospitals and centers distant from loved ones, this new program was created to help ease their discomfort by offering a variety of both required and congenial items. These items range from immediate small sundries, gift cards, casual clothing, bags, entertainment and technology to connection with larger support agencies for longer term support. They may also require support for family members that may arrive to assist their recovery and rehabilitation.
“AFA is truly grateful for all the help and support of its members, colleagues and supporters who went over and beyond to try and help fulfill this wounded airman’s request,” said Craig McKinley, President of AFA. “We are among such a great community where many are willing to reach out and see how they can assist.”
“Sgt. Williams was very surprised and thankful for the efforts AFA put forth to make this happen,” said Dennis Fritz, Air Force Recovery Care Coordinator. “Ultimately, AFA helped make, in his mind, the impossible become a reality.”
The Air Force Association is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association. Our mission is to promote a dominant United States Air Force and a strong national defense, and to honor Airmen and our Air Force Heritage. To accomplish this, we:
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- EDUCATE the public on the critical need for unmatched aerospace power and a technically superior workforce to ensure U.S. national security.
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