Many of you haven’t personally heard of the Civilian-Military Group or know who they are composed of, but I can attest and ensure you that hundreds of Edwards Airmen and their families have been the recipients of their generosity and unwavering support.
As an Air Force First Sergeant, I’ve had the distinct pleasure and honor to work with and witness first-hand what our local civilian community leaders and military leaders do in support of us in uniform and our families.
To give you a little background, the Civ-Mil Group board of directors host a collaborative monthly meeting along with Edwards AFB military leaders and discuss ways in which the military and civilian communities can best serve one another.
I would like to share a few examples of what this great support group has done for our military personnel. In 2013, the Civ-Mil Group allocated $8,500 to the First Sergeant’s Council to take care of our Airmen and families.
Our Edwards AFB First Sergeants are the stewards of this money and take this responsibility very seriously as we’ve been entrusted to ensure that 100 percent of the money goes to assist our Airmen and families that have a genuine and immediate need of monetary assistance. The Civ-Mil money directly supported the First Sergeant’s Operation Angel Tree Program in 2013 which allowed us to provide over 300 gifts for children of less fortunate military families.
In addition, their generous donation allowed us to stand-up the “first-ever” Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Gas Card. This program helps off-set the cost of gas for a family who must travel out of the local area for required medical appointments. The Civ-Mil Group understands that it’s financially difficult for many military families to absorb the costs to travel out of the local area to attend these medical appointments and wanted to do something to help lessen the impact it currently has on our EFMP families. All the Active Duty EFMP family member needs to do is contact their unit’s First Sergeant for assistance. This program wouldn’t be possible without the overwhelming support of our Civ-Mil leaders.
Additionally, Civ-Mil has funded the Edwards Emergency Relief Fund or better known as ERRF. This fund provides monetary grants or interest free loans for Active Duty members and their families in immediate need of financial assistance. This fund has been used for a variety of reasons to include securing air or ground travel for an individual to get back home due to a family emergency, covering utilities, groceries, gas, and many more situations where financial assistance is necessary. With the support of the Civ-Mil Group, we’ve been able to provide this sort of service to our military community and, without them, it just wouldn’t be possible to help as many people we currently are assisting who are going through some tough times in their lives.
Furthermore, the Civ-Mil Group understands the unique challenges that face our unaccompanied single Airmen here at Edwards and are doing everything that they can to improve their quality of life. Over the course of 2013, the Civ-Mil Group committed $2,500 towards improving dormitory living by purchasing new pool cues, balls, racks, chalk, along with two Keurig coffee machines, coffee, and two video gaming systems.
There are many more programs or projects that the Civ-Mil Group is involved with that may go unnoticed by many, but I can assure you, their unwavering support for the men, women, and families of Edwards who freely serve and sacrifice for our nation with unquestioned professionalism, and patriotism doesn’t go unfelt.