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Schriever AFSA chapter looks to make a difference

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- “Speak now or forever hold your peace.”

The premise of this traditional marriage vow verbiage is anyone who wants to change the outcome of what’s about to happen, must do it at the prescribed time or lose out on the opportunity.

The marriage of the Air Force Sergeants Association and the Air Force dates back to 1961 and gives Airmen a direct voice to congressional leaders to impact change within the service. Their mission is to advocate improved quality of life and economic fairness that will support the well-being of the Total Air Force enlisted personnel and their families.

At Schriever, enter AFSA Chapter 1182.

“First, it’s important to educate people on what AFSA is,” said Master Sgt. Brady Warren, AFSA Chapter 1182 president. “Until I became a member, I had no idea how important it was to Air Force members. It’s one of the more important agencies in terms of the ability to affect decisions made at the congressional level. We want to let people know what AFSA is about and what we can do for them.”

AFSA advocates for its 100,000 members’ interests to America’s elected and military leaders. As a federally-chartered Veteran Service Organization, AFSA is able to lobby on Capitol Hill on behalf of its members.

“Not every professional military organization can say they’re federally chartered and have a voice on Capitol Hill,” Warren said. “In my opinion, AFSA is the most important organization people can get involved with in terms of affecting outcomes at the congressional level.”

Chapter 1182 holds monthly meetings, which are designed to be a platform for members to bring issues or concerns up to the executive council. The council can then bring those concerns up to the division level and vote on which issues the organization lobbies to congress. Schriever’s AFSA chapter currently sits 180 strong, giving it a strong voice at higher levels, but they are always looking for more.

“We want to double our membership number,” Warren said. “The more members we have, the more votes we get. This is crucial to affecting change.”

Chapter 1182 will conduct fun-filled fundraisers and membership drives throughout the year and encourages people to get involved.

Tech. Sgt. Sara Bishop, AFSA Chapter 1182 membership trustee, hinted there would be many opportunities for people to have fun while also contributing to the Air Force and local community in a serious way. She plans on organizing golf tournaments, pizza bonanzas and much more.

“The most important benefit of being an AFSA member is helping to uphold fair and equitable legislation and departmental policies that affect the Air Force's enlisted personnel,” Bishop said. “We are the voice of the Air Force. We are the enlisted force working and living the life every day. It's up to us to make a difference and make change.”

AFSA also stresses community involvement as a way of giving back and investing in the local community.

“We’re not just looking out for ourselves,” Warren said. “We get involved in the community in a massive way. We are putting on different events where we can raise money and give back to the community.”

Becoming an AFSA member is a quick, online registration process at www.hqafsa.org. According to the website, benefits include: congressional lobbying, global impact through leadership, connections with friends, continuing education and scholarships, mentorship opportunities, life insurance, financial investment support and a wide range of special discounted services.

Enlisted members, officers, retired personnel, family members and civilians are all eligible to join.

“There is a small annual fee to join, but it comes out to about $3 a month, which is well worth it in my opinion,” Warren said.

While membership provides many benefits to the members and the chapter, it is not required to participate in Chapter 1182 meetings or activities.

“We know sometimes people have financial difficulties, but don’t let that stop you from making a difference,” Warren said. “Just show up. We can show you how to get involved. The bigger our group is, the more people we can affect. Anybody can come sit in the meetings and have input.”

Chapter 1182 recently underwent its annual leadership change and as such is formulating its activities and events plan for the year. Warren encouraged people to come to meetings to have a say in what is done. He also advised people to be on the lookout for announcements in the Schriever Sentinel.

To be added to the Chapter 1182 email distribution list, please email 50og.cck.workflow@us.af.mil.

The next meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. April 25 at in Building 300, third floor conference room.
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