Adopt an Airman program offers little piece of home

  • Published
  • By Michelle Green
  • Airman and Family Readiness Center
As members of the Air Force family, we all know the feeling of moving away from those we love. For many of Holloman's youngest Airmen, moving to New Mexico is their first experience away from home. This first move is exciting and new, however it can also bring feelings of loneliness.

Showing immense compassion, the local community is doing something about this.

The Airman and Family Readiness Center's Adopt an Airman program provides that "home away from home" experience so many Airmen are longing for. The program facilitates connections between members of the local community and Holloman's new Airmen.

By signing up for the Adopt an Airman program, people in the local community are given the names of two Airmen to "adopt." They make the initial contact and host the Airmen for a dinner where they can get to know each other.

The sponsors have a profound appreciation for our Airmen's service and it shows in their willingness to host them.

Adopt an Airman sponsor, retired Chief Master Sgt. Richard McElderry, said he knows the Air Force he served and loves so much is in good hands, and Holloman's Airmen make retirees very proud.

Recently, as a part of the Adopt an Airman program, the Alamogordo Retired E-9er's Group hosted a holiday dinner for 10 of Holloman's Airmen. The dinner exemplified the bonds that can develop as a result of the program.

One young Airman, Airman 1st Class Everett Davis, 49th Logistics Readiness Squadron, said he considered it a privilege to eat with them and be a part of the program.

Airman 1st Class Paul Manion, 49th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, said it was nice to see what retired people are like and to hear their stories.

Not only will Airmen broaden their perspectives of the southwest, they will make contact with people who know and love this community. This creates relationships that can last for years and gives Airmen a chance to break away from their everyday lives on base.

It also helps achieve base readiness by ensuring Airmen are enthusiastic, happy and know they are greatly appreciated.

"Taking care of our Airmen remains critical to our success as an Air Force. These Airmen are truly our greatest resource and ultimately are the linchpin to delivering the mission," said Col. Jeff Harrigian, 49th Fighter Wing commander. "With our mission of "one team, one fight," we are making sure the newest members of our Air Force are taken care of and are integrated not only into Holloman, but also the local community."

If you are interested in participating in the Adopt an Airman program please contact me, Michelle Green, at the Airman & Family Readiness Center at 575-572-7754.