Before our five-miles-a-second orbital speed carried me away, I returned briefly, via memory, to again soar and wheel over Enid, the place where my dreams of aviation and space truly took flight. When next I touch down there, I’ll breathe in the air of the plains and relax, knowing I’m again among friends.
While serving as chairman of the board of the Air Force Association, I had the privilege of visiting Vance AFB and the Enid AFA chapter.
While most Air Force bases I visited enjoyed good community support, the level of that support I observed in the Enid area was incredible. One measure of that comes from the number of community partners the Enid AFA chapter has.
AFA Community Partners are businesses that actively support military members in their community through membership and active participation in the local AFA chapter. At the time I was chairman, the Enid chapter had over 400 Community Partners. They easily won the competition within AFA for the chapter with the most Community Partners, both in absolute terms and in percentage of total membership.
In fact, not only did the Enid chapter have the largest number of Community Partners of any chapter in AFA, they had more Com-munity Partners in their chapter than the total number of Community Partners in all of the chapters combined in any single AFA region (typically several states.) The level of community support from the citizens of Enid is unsurpassed, and it contributes in ways that are too numerous to count in the ability of the Air Force to do its job in the defense of our nation.