AFSA picnic gives back to community, encourages family fun

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Eydie Sakura
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs Office
Children laughing, running and playing; families sitting under trees and feasting on smoked, pulled pork sandwiches; and colleagues, friends and peers visiting and getting to know one another, was the scene at the Air Force Sergeants Association Chapter 1156 family picnic July 26 at Sun Park Plaza. 

The nearly 90 degree weather and sun-soaked day welcomed nearly 180 people at the free pig roast picnic hosted by the local AFSA chapter. 

"We hosted the picnic because we really wanted to give back to the community and advertise that the AFSA chapter is alive and active on base," said Master Sgt. Tim Hezel, AFSA president. "The picnic was a huge success and this ought to be an event like this every year, but it really depends on volunteers to make it all come together." 

A handful of AFSA volunteers, and a few spouses, worked on their off-duty time to pull off this first time AFSA-sponsored event. The picnic included an inflatable bouncy castle and obstacle course; a smoked pig catered by an off-base barbeque restaurant; DJ music; horseshoes; and a raffle. 

"The chapter raffled off a grill and we raised more than $680 on the fundraiser," Sergeant Hezel said. "AFSA is about Airmen supporting other Airmen, and we make sure the enlisted military benefits stay intact while on active-duty and well into retirement." 

Airman 1st Class Julio Reategui, 341st Maintenance Operations Squadron, said he joined AFSA one month ago and he was curious to more about the organization after hearing about AFSA's involvement with legislative issues. 

"I went to the picnic so I could meet more of the Malmstrom community since I just moved here," the Airman said. "I'm learning that AFSA also provides a good balance to my academic Air Force goals as well." 

AFSA is a private organization that supports enlisted quality-of-life initiatives like the picnic, as well as financially sponsors on-base events and programs; participates in off-base community service projects such as the Adopt-A-Highway program and the Boy Scouts food drive; and promotes esprit de corps among the enlisted force.