“The neatest thing about our chapter is as small as we are, how large we are.”
Cox pointed out the AFA is an advocacy organization, not a lobbying group.
“We’re there to strictly support the Air Force,” he said. “If issues do present themselves, we make sure that we provide literature to educate politicians and educate the local community.”
Supporting the Air Force is something that comes naturally to Enid.
“Enid has one of the best bonds with their base of any base in the nation,” said Jacobs. “At every change of command I go to, the incoming commander always says they have heard about the ties to the community. We reinforce that.”
“The AFA chapter here supports the airmen out at the base, locally,” Cox said. “I’ve never seen a town more wrap its arms around an Air Force installation than Enid does around Vance Air Force Base.”
Each quarter, Vance’s 71st Flying Training Wing recognizes its top airman, non-commissioned officer, senior NCO and company-grade officer. Each is given a free AFA membership. Annual winners are presented with a $50 check by the AFA and are invited to the group’s quarterly membership program.
“Locally, we provide scholarships to deserving airmen through the Community College of the Air Force,” said Cox. “A lot of the dollars that we generate either through subscriptions to being a member of AFA, go right back into supporting the airmen at Vance Air Force Base. That’s why we really enjoy this chapter because there is so much community support to help support the folks at the base.”
The local chapter also plays a big role in the Greater Enid Chamber of Com-merce’s annual Enlisted Appreciation Night at Vance, serving as the largest single contributor. The event annually provides food, entertainment and thousands of dollars in prizes to enlisted personnel at Vance.