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Community Support Coordinator takes care of community, Airmen

(Courtesy photo)

(Courtesy photo)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- The Community Support Coordinator position is still fairly new to our Air Force and it's clear here at McConnell how the position has made lives better for our community members.

The Air Force created this wing-level position in 2012 to focus on resiliency throughout the community and to serve as a key member of the Community Action Information Board and the Integrated Delivery System. Coordination between these helping agencies areas provides the action needed to ensure the commander's community concerns are addressed and our Air Force family is cared for.

The wing commander recently identified reducing alcohol related incidents as one of his four top concerns in the 2014 Community Action Plan. Targeted efforts have been made to ensure the goal is met.

One of the areas of collaborative effort over the last quarter is training our Airmen Against Drunk Driving team into a private organization. Staff Sgt. Christina Begeal, AADD President, approached the CAIB in July with the idea of giving Airmen the opportunity to take care of each other and ensure they were presented with a desirable safe option to get home after consuming alcohol.

Data from similar sized bases were analyzed and showed that AADD at those installations were providing rides to almost four times the number of individuals compared to McConnell.  The only difference was they were all established as private organizations.

As of Oct 17, 2014, AADD was established as an unofficial activity organized and operated by our Airmen, and we have already seen a vast improvement. Within the first four weekends, the organization has saved hundreds of lives, and the number of saves continues on an upward trend as the organization gains more popularity among Airmen.

AADD is an all-volunteer organization and if you ever need them, call (316) 759-2233. Normal operating hours are from 10 p.m. through 3 a.m. Friday through Saturday, but the phone is always carried by one of the members and if you call, someone will come get you. 

This effort cannot be successful without great volunteers, so if you or someone you know is interested in giving some time to AADD, please contact Sergeant Begeal at (316) 759-5927. 

This is the type of community involvement that we want to be known for here at McConnell and as the motto states, "Saving one life at a time," is what AADD is about and will continue to do.