AFAS helps an Airman’s wife to say goodbye to her grandmother

Technical Sergeant Brian Childers joined the U.S. Air Force after recognizing that he needed a career. Shifting the entire way he lived, the Airman of today wouldn’t recognize the civilian who enlisted 12 years ago. For him, serving has meant being part of something bigger than himself that provided a support structure during times of need.

It’s support from the Air Force Aid Society that TSgt Childers turned to when his wife Amanda learned of her grandmother’s declining health. Stationed at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, visiting her “Memaw” in Oklahoma at a moment’s notice was not going to be easy.

“I’d like to consider our finances in pretty good order,” TSgt Childers states, but they didn’t have an extra $1,000 for a last-minute plane ticket. Fortunately, TSgt Childer’s supervisor suggested he contact AFAS. The same day that he applied for assistance online, he walked out of the Airman & Family Readiness Center with a no-interest Falcon Loan that covered the plane ticket for Amanda to go home. Flying out just days later, Amanda was able to celebrate the life of her Memaw with her family.

“I can’t really explain in words how much AFAS helped,” TSgt Childers recalls, “but I can tell you that Amanda would still be struggling with the loss of Memaw to this day had she not been able to say goodbye in person.”

The Society’s assistance relieved a great deal of stress from TSgt Childers during this time. “Amanda is my rock. She works full time. She’s a full-time mom. She’s a full-time wife. She rarely asks for things in return. If she hurts, I hurt.” The Falcon Loan allowed both TSgt Childers and Amanda to focus on healing from their loss instead of worrying about finances.

What does TSgt Childers think all Airmen and their families should know about AFAS? “Know that you do not have to have bad financial problems to apply,” he says. “My bills are paid, my wife and I both work, and we still found a need for help. Life-altering events happen when you least expect them.”

Since joining the Air Force, TSgt Childers has grown as a person, and he’s come to rely on his fellow Airmen. “My Air Force family is important to me. I’d give anything I can to help a brother or sister, and I know they’d do the same for me,” he says. The Air Force Aid Society is another way for Airmen to help fellow Airmen.

The Air Force Aid Society is the official charity of the U.S. Air Force and has been meeting the unique needs of Airmen and their families since 1942. AFAS works to support and enhance the USAF mission by providing emergency financial assistance, educational support, and community programs. Over the last decade, AFAS has provided nearly $165 million in direct support via more than 450,000 assists. Visit www.afas.org to learn more, apply for assistance or make a donation.