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AFA - the opportunities to get involved in the NCR

Air Force District of Washington -- When Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs Chief of Community Relations invited me to join her at an Air Force Association meeting, I thought "sure, another organization to get involved in."

Erika Glon explained she was "carrying on the tradition" of recruiting a "sharp young Airmen" into the AFA just as her mentor did to her many years ago.

I had already considered joining. I love community involvement. I seem to always get involved in groups and volunteer whenever the opportunities present themselves.

This particular AFA chapter - the D.W. Steele Chapter located in Rosslyn, Va. - began like most meetings, with a discussion of old and new business. However, what made the event special for me was one of the other guests who joined the event - Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Lt. Gen. Richard Y. Newton III.

But before he addressed the group, Newton walked straight up to me and asked me where I was from. That's not something that happens every day for most Airmen; for some, never in their careers.

Following lunch, Newton discussed with attendees what is going on in our Air Force. As a Public Affairs specialist, I know it's a rare experience because there is a true difference between listening to a speech and having a conversation in an open forum.

I got to hear firsthand what is going on in my Air Force from the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff!

Next, The AFA handed out some awards. And among the recipients was Glon, who received an appreciation award for her service to the association.

She is someone who has been right at my side every time I have had a question - personal, work or other. The comm. rel. guru has showed me the ropes around this base - literally and figuratively since arriving here.

After finding that I, like she did, want to commission and that we have a common interest in luxury vehicles, she has continually opened my professional perspective up to the endless opportunities that the Air Force has available.

I found place that opened up the opportunity to meet Newton, hear firsthand how my leadership is handling BIG Air Force topics and witness Glon's recognition for her contributions to the organization she wants me to become involved in. Just one question - where's the sign-up form?

For more information the AFA go to their website here at : http://www.afa.org/