Not your typical attic

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Sondra Escutia
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
The attic is usually the place where unused items slowly collect dust until they are forgotten about.

That is not the case for this attic, though. Twice a week, this attic is full of hustle and bustle: mothers exchanging outgrown children's clothing, active-duty members turning in two stripes for three, or a newly-married couple picking up some furniture to fill an empty house.

This is the Airman's Attic at Holloman AFB -- a volunteer-based organization where Airmen can turn in or pick up anything from a book to a couch.

"The Airman's Attic is free to Airmen who are E-1 to E-6 ... they don't have to pay for anything," said Alice Tapia, secretary of the Holloman Enlisted Spouses Organization and assistant manager of the Airman's Attic. "It helps them save their paycheck. They can get clothing and uniforms and dishes here for free, so they can use that money on other items."

The items they provide may be gently-used, but they operate out of a nearly brand new shop.

The Airman's Attic moved to a renovated building in mid-2009 located near the Airman and Family Readiness Center on New Mexico Avenue. Although the organization moved, its mission remained the same: to help the Airmen of Holloman and their families.

"The goal is to help the Airmen at Holloman and their military dependents," said Janice Bosch, acting manager of the Airman's Attic. "We are here to service the Airmen and their families as far as clothing, household goods, furniture ... whether they are PCSing in and waiting on their household goods or need an extra hand during their time in need."

Helping people when they are in need does not come without the help of the volunteers who keep it running. The Airman's Attic is primarily run by the Holloman Enlisted Spouses Organization, but Ms. Tapia said anyone with a military ID is welcome to volunteer.

One volunteer was sorting through a few of those items Jan. 11 when she explained she'd been volunteering at the Airman's Attic for about four months.

Having used the Airman's Attic in the past herself, she thought volunteering was a good way to give back.

"I used to come here all the time and get stuff for myself so I figured they're working to do this for us, I should volunteer as well," said Staff Sgt. Kim Pekala, volunteer and member of the 49th Operations Support Squadron.

Another volunteer and HESO Military Liaison, Staff Sgt. James Bosch, called the Airman's Attic "the Air Force's best kept secret."

"Most Airmen are not even aware that they can get household goods for free," he said. "Many of the items we receive are brand new."

Every Tuesday and Thursday, the Airman's Attic is open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to military members E-6 and below as well as their dependents. It is also open the second Saturday of the month for "All Ranks Day." Ms. Bosch said anyone with a military ID card -- to include all ranks, retirees, Reservists, German air force and their families -- is welcome.

She added that she encourages Team Holloman members to come check it out if they haven't already.

"We can save them a lot of money if they don't mind using gently-used items -- especially children's clothing because they hardly use their clothing before they outgrow it," said Ms. Bosch.

Anyone using the Airman's Attic should remember to bring a military ID card. For more information, contact the Airman's Attic at 572-575-6064.