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The Air Force Enlisted Village

Posted 3/14/2012   Updated 3/14/2012 Email story   Print story


377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

3/14/2012 - Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. -- Editor's note: The Air Force Assistance Fund at Kirtland Air Force Base is scheduled to run through April 13. The March 9 issue of the Nucleus included an article on the Air Force Aid Society, one of four affiliates of AFAF. The Nucleus will feature others in succeeding editions.

The Air Force Enlisted Village's mission is to offer housing and financial assistance to surviving spouses of enlisted Airmen. It was founded in 1967 as the Air Force Enlisted Widows Home Foundation, to provide a safe, secure and dignified place for indigent surviving spouses of retired Airmen.

The Village's primary focus is to provide a home and financial assistance to them. The surviving spouse with the greatest need is cared for first, and no one is refused assistance due to financial status. Low pay and frequent military moves leave some spouses without careers, home equities, retirement plans or any significant assets. Surviving spouses requiring financial assistance live in the village among peers, sharing memories of Air Force life without the stigma normally associated with subsidized housing facilities.

In 1967, the Air Force Sergeants Association conducted a survey and found that more than 50,000 widows of enlisted men were living in poverty.

A group of active-duty and retired Air Force noncommissioned officers, with the assistance of former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. and Mrs. John D. Ryan, set about to correct this deficiency. Their goal was to provide a home for surviving spouses of enlisted Airmen.

The foundation was incorporated in Washington, D.C., in 1968, and granted federal tax-exempt status as a nonprofit 501(C) (3) corporation in 1971. The Village was recognized as an official Air Force charity in 1973. Support through the Air Force Assistance Fund was granted that same year, and those donations are earmarked specifically for indigent widows.

Surviving spouses applying for long-term residence at Bob Hope or Teresa Villages must be at least age 55, have a valid identification card, and must be able to live independently. Those who can no longer safely live on their own are now able to be at home in the Hawthorn House. Surviving spouses of enlisted members who served in other branches of the military are admitted on a space available basis, but aren't eligible for financial assistance.

The AFEV also helps active- duty members. Temporary housing is available to spouses of enlisted members who die or who are killed on active duty. Adult dependents - typically parents of active duty members or their spouses - are eligible for permanent housing on a space-available basis.

Housing is available at two locations - Teresa Village, in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and Bob Hope Village, in nearby Shalimar, only minutes from Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field.

The Hawthorn House assisted-living facility is also on the Bob Hope Village campus. The 64-apartment structure features all the amenities of a top-of-the-line complex on five acres of the Bob Hope Village campus. The completion of this project has enabled the AFEV to realize a dream - to provide assisted care to the members of our military family who have given so much to our country.

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