President's Message

January, 2021
President's Message

Seidel Chapter 2021 Flight Plan

Happy New Year!


We want 2021 to be the best year yet for AFA and the Seidel Chapter as we continue to Educate the public on the need for aerospace power; Advocate for the strongest aerospace forces in the world; and Support our Airmen and Guardians as part of the Total Air and Space Forces. 


Building on our success in 2020, we have our sights set on being the Best Chapter in AFA in 2021. That's a steep hill to climb, but we have a great base to build on and some dedicated and experienced members. I wanted to give you a preview of the things we plan to do in 2021, and if you have any comments or suggestions for making our chapter better, please let me know. My contact information is at the end of this email. As always, information on all our activities is available on our web site at www.afadallas.org. 

By the way, I know this email is going to many folks who have participated in Chapter activities but are not members. I hope you'll take a few minutes to read through this email and see what we have planned for 2021, and to consider becoming an AFA and Seidel Chapter member. In addition to chapter activities, AFA offers a wide-ranging program of information, events and services of interest to anyone who supports airpower or national defense. The best news is, we'll provide a complimentary first-year e-membership so you can see what AFA offers, and then you can decide to continue or not. See the AFA web site to get a sense of what AFA does and if you want to join, contact Membership VP Joel Hatch.


Flight Plan Waypoints 

Get Back to Face-to Face Meetings. One of the most important objectives for 2021 is to get back to face-to-face meetings. Hopefully the COVID vaccine will be deployed soon and we'll feel comfortable resuming our quarterly meetings and other activities. Tentatively we're looking at the second quarter and have been working to design a "hybrid" meeting where we can have an in-person gathering for those who feel comfortable, with a web broadcast for those who are just not ready for a live meeting. Get your vaccination and plan to come out when you can!

Sponsor the 2021 Seidel Classic Charity Golf Tournament. One of our two primary fund-raisers, the 2020 tournament cleared over $20,000 and we're looking forward to doing better in 2021. The 2021 tournament is set for October 5 at Prestonwood Hills Country Club, so mark your calendar.

Enhance the Sam Johnson AFJROTC Scholarship Program.  We awarded the first scholarships this past summer and Scholarship Chair Bill Harding is working with his team to make the program even better and more convenient for the applicants. With the success of our golf tournament fund-raiser, we have funding for our 2021 scholarships and we look forward to meeting the Class of 21. We'll soon have a complete description on the web site; in the interim contact Bill Harding if you have questions, want to help, or know a rising senior enrolled in AFJROTC who might be interested in applying.

Continue our Honor Flag Program. Our Honor Flag Program combines the efforts of our volunteers, local Boy Scout troops and the Civil Air Patrol to place US flags in selected area subdivisions on major US holidays. The Flag program is one of our two major fund-raising activities and was recognized as the Best Single Program in AFA in 2020. See our web site for more information or contact Joe Sommers.

Continue Military Book Discussions. Our early morning Zoom military book discussions have been very popular. We have three more Zoom meetings planned through March, but then we'll look at going back to live meetings, probably with a Zoom broadcast for those who aren't ready for a live meeting. Book discussion sponsor Bob Epstein plans to convert to an afternoon meeting, which may be more convenient. See our web site at www.afadallas.com for details and book selections.

Conduct More Joint Activities. We're in discussion with the local chapters of the Military Order of the World Wars, the Association of the US Army, the Jewish War Veterans and the Navy League to conduct joint activities which can help us better support our members and advocate for important issues. More to come shortly, but we look forward to really making this a successful effort

Sponsor Civil Air Patrol Academy and Youth Leadership Conference Participants. We've historically supported CAP and YLC summer camps, but unfortunately both organizations cancelled their 2020 summer activities. We hope they'll be up and running in 2021 and we've budgeted money for scholarships to the CAP Flight Academies and YLC summer programs.

Engage with CyberPatriot and Stellar Explorer. These programs are major efforts of the National AFA organization. We've had limited success in organizing local support, but have as a 2021 objective to get more involved. If any of you have expertise that you think might be applicable and would like to contribute, contact Ric Hamer for more information.  

Recognize Our Teacher of the Year. We're looking forward to selecting our 2021 Teacher of the Year and have budgeted an additional $500 to bring the total award up to $1000. See our web site or contact Ric Hamer if you have any questions about the program or to nominate a teacher.   

Host the Texas State/Texoma Regional Convention. We were scheduled to host the AFA Texas State/Regional Summer Convention this year, but it was unfortunately cancelled. The good news is we're back on for 2021. The 2021 Convention will be July 29-Aug 1 at the Delta Hotel in Allen. The highlight will be the awards luncheon on Saturday, July 31 where we'll recognize our 2021 AFJROTC scholarship recipients. We'll combine this with our Quarterly Membership meeting, so everyone will be invited.    

Increase our Community Partner Engagement. Community Partners connect us with our supporting community businesses. It's a two-way street: we build relationships with local businesses and they get to show their support for our air And Space Forces. See our Community Partner link for more information.

Reach Out to Elected Officials and Civic Leaders. We want to engage our community leaders--elected officials, chambers of commerce, businesses and social organizations--to provide awareness and education, and be strong advocates for the Air and Space Forces. We want to let our community know we are here, ready to reach out with information and support, and effectively promote a strong Air Force.

Initiate Industry Visits. We're fortunate to be close to the Lockheed-Martin plant where our F-35 fighters are produced and as soon as conditions permit we're promised a visit to the production line. We have several other major defense facilities in the area and intend to set up a couple of visits a year.   

Increase Membership and Participation. We really emphasize building our membership base and to this end, offer a complimentary first year electronic membership which includes an e-copy of Air Force Magazine, one of the premier air and space periodicals. In additional members have access to all the activities of the Mitchell Institute, the Doolittle Leadership Center and the other activities of AFA. See the national web site at www.afa.org to see what AFA does. We also want to increase the participation of our members by conducting activities of interest to the membership. If you have suggestions, would like a membership, or know someone who'd like one, contact Joel Hatch for more information.  

Support our Airmen and Guardians. One of the key objectives of AFA is to support our Air and Space professionals. While we don't have any active duty bases in our area of responsibility, we do support the Texas Air National Guard's 254th Combat Communications Group at Hensley Field and its parent unit, the 136th Airlift Wing; as well as the active duty 344th Recruiting Squadron. In addition to contributing to family and unit social activities, we stand ready to be a resource when needed.

Leverage Zoom Events. Even after we're back to face-to-face meetings, we've found that Zoom provides an opportunity to easily bring in national experts for discussions on national events. For example, in 2020 we sponsored two major Zoom programs, one a symposium on China with subject matter experts from SMU and the National War College; the other a presentation by Col Chuck Debellevue, the leading ace from Vietnam. Because of the outstanding feedback on these programs we plan at least one more such event in 2021, perhaps China 2.0 or the Middle East. If you have ideas or suggestions for topics please contact me.

Recognize our Outstanding Members and Organizations. AFA has a very active awards program and in 2020 we were very successful at capturing a number of major State and National awards. The chapter was selected as the Texas Chapter of the Year; the Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union was the CIvilian Organization of the Year; and the 254th Combat Comm Group was selected Military Unit of the Year. At the National level, our Honor Flag Program was the Best Single Program in AFA. In addition we received numerous individual awards recognizing sustained performance. In 2021 our objective is simple: be the Best Chapter in AFA and continue to recognize our people and their programs.

As always, please call or write if you have questions or suggestions or if you'd like to get more involved as a member of the Chapter Executive Council.

John Campbell
President, Seildel Chapter
703-615-9324
cambell927@gmail.com


Zoom or Live: What Do You Think? We've accomplished a lot with Zoom over the summer, but at some point we will want to resume face-to-face meetings with appropriate safety precautions, following the example of schools, churches, restaurants and other organizations like ours. We've asked the Gleneagles Country Club, where we hold our lunch meetings, if they could accommodate us and the answer is that it's doable, likely with reduced numbers to allow distancing, plated meals rather than a buffet, and probably slightly higher prices. Our Executive Council has discussed the timing and conditions for resumption of live meetings but an important question is "what do our chapter members think?". To get a sense of where you stand, I'd like to see which of the following options you favor. To indicate your preference all you have to do is click the appropriate Option and an email form will open up with the subject line already filled in. If you want to add additional remarks you can do so; otherwise just hit Send and I'll get it. If for some reason the links don't work, just email me at campbell927@gmail.com with your preference. 

Option 1: I wouldn't be comfortable attending a live meeting right now
Option 2: I would attend live membership meetings with appropriate precautions 

Our activities for the remainder of this year will definitely be virtual, but hopefully in early 2021 we'll get together in person again.

Coming Events

First Quarter 2021 Membership Meeting. TBA

Military Book Discussion. Our next book discussion will be February 18, 2021 and the book is Brute.

Book Review

AmazonSmile and Tom Thumb Rewards: No-cost Ways to Raise Money for the Chapter

Both Tom Thumb grocery and Amazon offer loyalty programs which will return part of the profit to the Chapter. Last year we received over $2000, and it didn't cost a penny!

To enroll in the Tom Thumb (or Randalls) Good Neighbor Program, stop by the service desk and fill out the Good Neighbor form, marking 6568 in the Charity to be Added block, then return it to the service desk. This will link to your loyalty card so every time you shop, 1% of the total goes to the chapter.

AmazonSmile is even easier. Just go to https://smile.amazon.com/ch/75-6053206, which will open a window which will ask if you want to designate the Air Force Association as a charity. Thereafter, when you shop at Amazon, go to https://smile.amazon.com. and 1/2% of the total order will be credited to the chapter. The important thing to remember is to order through https://smile.amazon.com and not www.amazon.com.

So for minimal effort and no cost we can raise money to support the programs which benefit our veterans and youth.

Veterans Center of North Texas

The Veterans Center of North Texas (VCONT) is a nonprofit organization serving North Texas Veterans and their families. VCONT serves Veterans from all services, eras and discharge type. Services include information, referral and direct support to assist with housing, utilities, transportation, food, clothing, health, education and a multitude of other benefits and services. All assistance is provided with pride and without charge. Service and assistance is also available to selected family members including surviving spouses. If you or a Veteran you know needs benefit information or assistance, please contact VCONT at 214-600-2966, www.vcont.org.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact me at campbell927@gmail.com or give me a call at 703-615-9324. 2020 can be a great year for the Seidel Chapter and I welcome your input.

John Campbell
President, Seidel Chapter 232

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