This is an opportunity to build relationships with and support young Airmen who are new to the Air Force and introduce them to the community.
Cheyenne has a long history of supporting the military. Now, through the Military Affairs Committee of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce’s Adopt an Airman Hosting Heroes program, you have another tangible way to develop meaningful relationships with Airmen who are far away from family and friends. By including an Airman in the activities you are already
doing as a family, you offer friendship and a home-away-from-home, and in the process you and your family benefit from supporting the military in a more personal way.
Host Denise Fertig reflected upon why their family initially joined the program, “We thought of our own children and how we would want support and friendship for them if they were far
Though the Fertig family joined the program to give, they have been surprised by how much they have received. “The relationships we have developed with our airmen have been a two-way rewarding friendship for the whole family. Our airmen have demonstrated to our teens what if means to be responsible, respectful, helpful,…but are still ‘cool’ in their eyes. They are always polite, and they readily accept invitations to just come hang-out—even spur of the moment.”
The Adopt an Airman Hosting Heroes program is not designed to add another activity to your family’s already busy life, but the intention is that you would include the airmen in what you as a Host family are already doing.
“Our airmen don’t expect big planned outings. They enjoy the family feel of hanging out with our kids because they miss their own siblings. We watch movies and eat popcorn, play games, go camping and hiking, and we occasionally venture further out on our ATVs,” Denise shared.
Through the application process, Host families and airmen are matched based on common interests. The program is voluntary, and if either the airman or the host do not feel a good match was made, the committee will pair them with someone else. By Hosting a Hero, the program is not asking for the airmen to move in with you or that you take them on expensive outings. The intent of the program is community engagement and social support.
“The face-to-face discussions about life, career, future plans…those conversations with these young adults make us feel like they are part of our family,” Denise concluded as she reflected on how rewarding the program is for both their family and the airmen they host.
#BeThere #ConnectToProtect These are the hashtags that the military used for Suicide Prevention Month in September 2020. Social connection helps decrease anxiety and depression caused by loneliness and social isolation. Currently, 87 airmen are matched with 52 families, but over 70 airmen are waiting to be paired with a local family. The need is real. You can make a difference! For an application or more information, email: email@example.com.