FROM OUR PRESIDENT
Welcome to the new Chicagoland/O’Hare Chapter website. We have achieved one of our chapter’s goals in bringing a website on line. The website is designed to keep the membership informed of our chapter’s recent events, upcoming events, the chapter’s newsletters and much more. I hope it will inspire more members to become active again. There will be more to come in the future.
For any new members to our website, please be advised that the date of the most recent updates will be found at the bottom of our home page. I do my best to make sure the regular monthly updates are completed by the first of the new month.
Please remember to notify your chapter and AFA of any changes to your personal information regarding address, phone, e-mail, etc. We don't want to lose contact with you.
Let’s be sure to keep all the men and women who serve our country in our thoughts and pray for those in combat areas for a safe return home to their families.
4th Quarter Beginning 1 October 2017
Our chapter Chaplain, Rev. Don Ashley, and I attended the annual AFA convention and the Air and Space Expo. It was quite a learning experience and my first convention. Many of us thought the highlight of these events was the speech our new Air Force Secretary, Deborah Lee Jones, gave on Monday morning, before the opening of the exposition. Most of you who actually read our Air Force magazine are familiar with the financial problems facing our Air Force, as well as the military in general; but, her words were encouraging.
The biggest complaint spoken by most everyone I talked to concerned the very high cost of attending the convention. We are locked into using the Gaylord Hotel and Conference Center until 2022; however, I do not see how our organization will be able to find anything less expensive in the D.C. area, or anywhere else for that matter. Convention activities and rooms in Chicago, for example, are very expensive, too.
My brother was very enthused about the various programs the AFA has to offer. Especially in the area of Aerospace Education. Two days after we returned he spent about five hours on his laptop, tapped into my modem, and I
helped him do a lot of research. I have asked him to become our V.P. of Aerospace Education and he has accepted the position. He will accompany me when I visit many of our AFJROTC and Civil Air Patrol Squadrons during this new school year until he is fully trained.
Thursday, September 28th, I was interviewed by the Vietnam Commemoration committee in regards to my experiences in Nam. The taped interview was held at the WGN studios in Chicago. The gentlemen I spoke with were very interested in my association with Red Horse, since they had never heard of the Air Force's combat trained civil engineering squadrons.
WGN plans on airing segments of the interviews the committee held here in Chicago during the week preceding our Veteran's Day in November. I do not know how many Nam vets were interviewed and do not know for sure if they are going to use me. However, I would suggest you keep an eye out for these special news events about Nam. They may be aired during WGN's normal news programs. They could not tell me anything definite at this time.
The Vietnam Commemoration committee is planning on putting DVD's together to be sent out to schools, etc., as an educational tool for classrooms and other organizations like JROTC.
One of the best things about our AFA is the fact that anyone who would like to support our Air Force may become a member. I have picked up a couple of civilians who had stated to me that, in retrospect, they wished they had joined one of our military branches years ago. After my explaining to them that our organization accepts anyone, they joined.
I know I keep asking all of you to try to recruit just one person to our organization, which would almost double the size of our chapter, but it's because this is so important. During the past five or six years we have lost many chapter members, whether this has been due to the deaths of our aging membership, or members have moved away to a warmer climate. We have gained a bit and now have a little over one thousand three hundred members, which includes the members who transferred in from the closed Galesburg/Peoria Chapter 172. Our chapter area has now grown to the northern half of Illinois.
Please keep recruiting in your minds. You may not be physically involved with our chapter, wanting to just be a member, read our magazine, and look at this website. However, you knew the importance of your becoming a member when you joined and nothing has changed in that respect. This is your chapter and we, as well as AFA on the whole, need your help.
At the bottom of each page is the date of the latest update(s) for your convenience.