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Air Force Assistance Fund
Within two days, Jennifer, here playing with Anastasia, was able to get the financial help (in the form of an interest-free AFAF loan) to get her car fixed and was able to get the peace of mind you can't put a price on while her husband was deployed overseas. (U.S. Air Force photo/Chris Calkins)
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AFAF: When financial help hits home

Posted 3/7/2014   Updated 3/7/2014 Email story   Print story


by Chris Calkins
45th Space Wing Public Affairs

3/7/2014 - PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.  -- Two days before Christmas, this was just about the last thing Jennifer Wood wanted to deal with.

With a two-year old baby, Anastasia, to take care of, and a husband, Senior Airman Jeffery Wood, a 45th Space Wing Command Post Airman deployed half-a-world away in harm's way, the one thing she wasn't thinking about was finding a way to pay for expensive car repairs on their 2012 vehicle.

She thought wrong.

A faulty oil change had resulted in their car leaking oil, which resulted in the car engine seizing up on Dec. 23, 2013.

Translation: she was suddenly staring a $6,500 repair bill dead in the eye.

"We (she and her husband) were able to get some help from his Mom, but we couldn't get all the money we needed and I wasn't sure where or whom to turn to for help," she said.

"Lucky for me I had my husband's first sergeant, 1st Sgt. Agnes Bradt, and Master Sgt. Charles Marascio, one of my husband's Command Post supervisors, to point me in the right direction.

Enter the 45th Space Wing's Airman & Family Readiness Center.

"From the moment I walked in there, I was treated like family, especially by Ms. Elsa Kekahuna, Air Force Aid Officer, who immediately calmed me down, assured that I had a legal Power of Attorney form, and told me the Air Force Aid Society might be able to help me," said Jennifer.

"She then explained to me that the Air Force Aid Society is one of the AF Charities supported through the Air Force Assistance Fund. She immediately contacted AF Aid Headquarters and was given "the go" to provide us with assistance," she said with a smile.

Within two days, Jennifer was able to get the financial help (in the form of an interest-free loan) to get her car fixed and was able to get the peace of mind you can't put a price on.

"I knew my husband was very busy in his job overseas, and I know he was worried about how we were going to deal without a vehicle or get the money to get it fixed," she said

"I just wanted him to focus on him and not worry about us -- and between the Airman & Family readiness Center and the Air Force Aid Society Fund we were able to do just that," Jennifer said, as she handed Anastasia a bowl of fresh fruit in their on-base home.

Jeffery and Jennifer met when we were both active duty Airmen stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and Anastasia was born at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

"The Air Force has been great for us from Day 1, and it's nice to know the 'Air Force Family' we hear and read about all the time really does exist,"
she said.

"Jeffery, Anastasia and I just wanted to say thanks to our 45th Space Wing family."

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