Staff Sergeant Andrew Chadbourn first heard about Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) nearly a decade ago, in his early days as a newly minted Airman. Like lots of young Airmen, he didn’t think much about it at the time. As he puts it, “it wasn’t until the chips were down that the AFAS came back to mind.”
SSgt Chadbourn and his wife recently found themselves financially overextended. Struggling to make ends meet each month, tensions were growing in their marriage and stress was mounting on the job for SSgt Chadbourn. “When you are worried about whether or not the money will run out before the month does, focusing on balancing work and family becomes difficult,” he confides.
The couple knew they did not want their financial debt to be a life sentence, so they set about to make some radical changes to their budget and spending plan. As part of a thoughtfully crafted plan to dramatically and immediately lower monthly expenses, the family decided to move into a camper for the short-term future. They found a camper that would meet their needs and they were approved for a loan with their banking institution. However, there were some expenses outside the parameters of that loan, which left them short of their goal. SSgt Chadbourn recalls, “We felt stopped cold in our tracks so close to putting our plan into action.”
SSgt Chadbourn turned to Air Force Aid Society and, through a Falcon Loan, was able to secure the additional funds the family needed to move forward with their plan. “We only had to borrow a small sum from AFAS, but the effect of that $750 was absolutely priceless,” he shares.
The family is now settled into their new living situation and making great progress towards their debt reduction through careful budgeting and conscientious spending. Earlier tensions and stresses have started to ease. SSgt Chadbourn even credits the assistance from AFAS with helping to make his marriage stronger.
SSgt Chadbourn reflects on the experience, “As part of the Air Force family, I feel a sense of belonging. There was no shame or stigma attached to our request for help from AFAS when we needed it. AFAS has helped our family achieve financial stability and that is an invaluable gift.”
The Air Force Aid Society is the official charity of the U.S. Air Force and has been meeting the unique needs of Airmen and their families since 1942. AFAS works to support and enhance the USAF mission by providing emergency financial assistance, educational support, and community programs. Over the last decade, AFAS has provided nearly $180 million in direct support via approximately 500,000 assists.