Celebrate Barksdale was initiated by the MAC and embraced by both Chambers of Commerce to express the community’s collective appreciation to the men and women who serve while stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base. Our annual Celebrate Barksdale picnic emphasizes outreach to spouses and children.
"I would like to personally thank you all not solely for providing a service to me, but for also being an organization that is willing to provide to the needs of all military personnel. I am extremely grateful that in the stage that our current world is in, that there are still individuals who have a genuine heart to care for others. What you do behind the scenes is of great importance and impact to our everyday lives and it doesn't go unnoticed. Because of your act of kindness I am able to see my family which I have not seen for a year. Little new born cousins to my mother and brother and aunts, uncles, uncles and cousins. Family is a key element to the work that not only I perform, but each Airman (military as well as civilian) performs day in and day out. I am forever thankful for the consideration and confirmation of the council. I hop each member of the council has an extremely blessed Christmas and happy New Years! Enjoy your families and thank you again for gifting me the opportunity to enjoy my family!"
The Military Affairs Council and Barksdale Air Force Base are happy to introduce the ADOPT AN AIRMAN PROGRAM (Roots for Boots) here in Shreveport-Bossier. This Barksdale Airmen Sponsor Program (BASP) offers select community leaders a unique and rewarding opportunity to provide Airmen a home-away-from home during their first assignment in the military. It also offers community leaders the opportunity to enter Barksdale Air Force Base and meet first-hand our fine young Air Force men and women and, the air and space leaders of tomorrow. The BASP is designed to provide Airmen with an avenue to form friendships and gather support beyond the formal work environment. If you can remember leaving behind the comfort and security of your parents’ home, then you will understand the needs of the young men and women in the BASP. Rigorous military standards can tax even the best of spirits, producing feelings of great stress to make the grade in some Airmen, and in others, moments of loneliness, homesickness and doubt. The official relationship lasts for the duration of time that the Airman is assigned to Barksdale AFB, or when one of the two parties decides to terminate the relationship. The goal of the program is to have individuals from the community serve as the Airman’s mentor, friend, and advisor, providing a caring environment to relax away from the pressures of work and future deployments. Participants are also in the position to serve as a positive adult role model helping Airmen understand their role as a career Air Force Airman and reinforcing positive social values. This rewarding program currently exists at other military installations and has been highly successful. The BASP will be run by the Military Affairs Council (MAC) of Shreveport-Bossier. The MAC is a 501c3 non-profit with a history of service and ties to Barksdale AFB. We, through the BASP, will attempt to match host families with Airmen who share the same basic characteristics. Airmen can request “by name” host families. If you have the desire and commitment to make a difference in a young Airman’s life, this is the program for you! Sammy Halphen will serve as the Committee Chair/Program Manager for the Barksdale Sponsor Program. If you interested in being involved in the program or have questions, contact him at Samuel.firstname.lastname@example.org or 318-465-5608.
As you may know, the effects of federal budget cuts and Sequestration have fallen disproportionately on the backs of the Armed Forces, and the United State Air Force and Barksdale Air Force Base are currently living through significant budget cuts. Civilian Department of Defense employees are being furloughed and operational flying hours and training have been significantly reduced. At one point, Tuition Assistance for continuing education had been discontinued, and while this program was recently reinstated by congress, numerous Airmen and Officers were required to pay their own tuition during the period when there was no Tuition Assistance in place.
As the MAC became aware of the hiatus in the Tuition Assistance program, we began to explore ways to help soften the financial blow for some of the Airmen who found themselves covering their own tuition expenses during the interruption in Tuition Assistance. The MAC embraced the opportunity to be of assistance to the men and women of Barksdale and made a pledge of $100,000 to support a multi-year MAC Scholarship Program on base.
A five-year program has been developed which will provide $1,000 scholarships to 20 deserving Airmen each year. Scholarship applications will be distributed by the base each spring, and a committee of MAC members will review the applications and select the scholarship winners each June. If you are interested in supporting our scholarship program, please contact our Executive Director, Kathi Smith at email@example.com or 429-2418.
Click here for the 2017 MAC Scholarship Awards.