What a Change a Year Can Make…

By Melony Daley
A year ago….we waited with bated breath for each minute, hour and day to pass. This milestone meant so many things would change, potentially for the better, but for now this weekend held a world of stress, heartache, mental hardship, physical effort and strife for our cadets. If they could only survive recognition intact, life would be so much easier. After months of running the strips, holding their backpack in their left hand, and wearing military uniform everywhere they went, our cadets would be recognized by the upper classes. Hello civvies and leisure walks. They would hear their first names again. Stress levels would drop and the cadets could breathe a little easier and by extension we parents could breathe a little easier. We could start to think of our young adults as living on a campus versus a military installation…even if it truly was a military installation. It’s our small delusions that help us deal with the hundreds of miles of separation, after all. As all cadets and parents do, we leave freshman year with memories, some wonderful and some not so wonderful. We remember BCT and the first Parents’ Weekend as if it were some long distant memory. Recognition, however, was truly only a year ago.

I vividly remember thinking of my cadet constantly during the first two days of recognition, wishing I could talk to him, praying that he was having fun in a weird sort of way, thinking how much different his experience at a military academy was from our experience as active duty Army almost two full decades ago. I also vividly remember the moment I found out that he had not finished recognition and had in fact suffered a concussion as a result of hitting his head on the cement when they ran up an incline in full military gear. I remember wanting to jump on an airplane so that I could look into his eyes and make sure he was okay and wanting to call and speak to his chain of command. I didn’t of course. The adage, “This, too, shall pass,” is very true. He survived. He finished the rest of his freshman year and has come back stronger and more determined than ever to succeed. This year is so different. It began with a quick and fleeting thought: “I wonder if recognition is this weekend or next?” I let it go and didn’t think about it again until Sunday came around and I wanted to hear his voice. I took a chance to text him and ask if he was planning to call. I was pleasantly surprised when the phone rang not two minutes later. We spoke for 20 minutes and I asked a ton of questions about the difference between last year and this year and his role in recognition.

Instead of dread, I experienced joy. Joy that he was doing okay, his grades were looking up, and that in less than three weeks he would be sleeping in his bed here at home. The difference of a year…. Our cadets are experiencing recognition in a variety of ways. Some sophomores are assisting in the beating of the freshman, others are peer counselors and are there to support in the mental and emotional stability of the freshmen, and yet others are not participating. Instead of worrying about being recognized or not, our cadets are living on the other side and ready to usher the next class into a bright new world full of possibility and hope; our cadets are worrying about grades and classes, talking to parents, and living life outside of the all-encompassing milestone of recognition.

We thank all the parents who supported this milestone last year, and we thank you for your continuous support as the cadets get ready to reach their next milestone – Commitment Dinner!

Get Your Keychains Before They Are Gone!

We have ordered our LAST batch of Exemplar Keychains and Recognition Cards!  They have been quite a hit!  We are not planning to re-order these keychains again!  Once we have exhausted this quantity, they are gone – so plan ahead for gifts, graduation, etc.

We have opened the ordering and payment processing for all parents, cadets, and other interested people.  We have a limited quantity available!  You should receive your order in about three weeks.  You will be notified by email when your order ships.  You may order as many as you would like.  The same ordering process goes for Recognition Keepsake Cards as we have a few of those available still as well. They are great mementos for framing, scrap booking, etc.

Please go to https://usafa2019spiritmission.com/fundraising-items and you can pay via Paypal.  There is also a form available on that page if you would like to send a check but online ordering is faster and can insure you receive your keychain due to our limited quantities.

We would also appreciate it if you would forward this message to your cadet so that we can get the word out to them also. Thank you for your support of our Cadets!

Cadets Set to March at the 58th Inauguration Tomorrow

Photo courtesy of US Air Force Academy (Official) FB page

Serving our country is an honor, and for our cadets this is a commitment that they will enjoy for many years after graduation from the Academy.

They train every day while at the Academy and we as parents have the opportunity to see this training in the form of parades and formations, but it is merely a glimpse. Cadets spend hours training to march in a perfect formation and the feeling of accomplishment, pride, and, honor each cadet feels marching in a formal parade is indescribable.

Tomorrow, some of our cadets will experience that honor marching in the inauguration parade. If you have the opportunity to see the parade and our cadets, try and place yourselves in their shoes. Imagine the pride for serving our country, the honor of being present at a presidential inauguration, the overwhelming emotional turmoil as they represent the entire body of the United States Air Force Academy Cadet Wing, the hopes that they will not make one misstep, the fear that they will do an “eyes right” as they have been trained to do when commanded to do an “eyes left” as this one event requires, the pain of any blisters, and the abundance of pride. The parade will begin after the Swearing-In ceremony. It will begin at the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building and proceed 1.5 miles along Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.

Click HERE for USAFA news articles and photos from the Inaugural celebration.

20:19 and 2019 STRONG!

It’s No Small Coincidence…

By Terri Smith and Rocio Watkins

15151103_10211091407941743_1182613468_nWhen your Division 1 qualifying time is the same as your graduating year, you’ve had a great day! That’s exactly what happened to C3C Cadet Jaci Smith, Class of 2019. She and the AFA Women’s Cross Country team qualified for the NCAA Division 1 Championship Meet for the first time in USAFA history! And Smith’s time was 20:19! But the amazing coincidence doesn’t stop here. Her team was ranked 29th going into this regional meet, and Smith is a Black Panther in CS29! The stars are aligning perfectly for Cadet Smith and her XC team, which includes another Class of 2019 Cadet, C3C Shanna Burns.

Smith’s primary goal for any race was to achieve a new personal best time and push her teammates to run their best. Her stretch goal at the beginning of the XC season was to break 22 minutes…. she broke 21 minutes at the Pre-nationals meet. She expected her time would be a little slower than 21 minutes at the Regional meet since they were running at altitude, so she was thrilled with her time of 20:19.

Although that time wasn’t a goal, the “2019 Strong” analogy was one of the first things she acknowledged after the race. To finish with this time in such a big race is very cool and something she will always remember. Continue reading

Exemplar Challenge Coin Keychain Order Info

 

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In order to continue to make this milestone memorable to cadets, parents, family members and other interested people, the Spirit Mission Committee would like to introduce an Exemplar Challenge Coin Replica Keychain.  Ordering begins Tuesday, Nov. 1st.

CLICK THE ‘ORDER HERE’ PICTURE BELOW!!

In return for your donation of $16, you will receive ONE Exemplar Challenge Coin Replica Keychain.  The size of the Replica Coin is 1.75” in diameter and it is the same high quality as the Cadet Challenge Coins, with a 3D image on each side of the metal coin.  The coin is secured by a nice chain and keyring.  The keychain will arrive in 2-3 weeks after your order is placed, and the donation amount includes direct shipping to you.  We accept donations by Paypal or by checks payable to “USAFA Class of 2019 Spirit Mission.”  If you choose to pay by check, click HERE for a printable order form to mail with your check. You may order more than one but our supplies may be limited, so order soon!

This keychain will be a great keepsake to honor Neil Armstrong, the Class of 2019 Exemplar, our cadets, and their achievements at the Academy.  Your donation to the USAFA Class of 2019 Spirit Mission goes toward supporting the needs of the Cadet Class of 2019.

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We thank you for your continued support!

 

 

The USAFA Class of 2019 Spirit Mission is a 501(c)(3) organization. Your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.  Consistent with IRS requirements, we are advising our donors that the amount of the contribution deductible for federal tax purposes is limited to the excess over the value of goods received by the donor. For this event our good-faith estimate is that the donor is receiving goods valued at $9 in exchange for their donation of $16 for each keychain.

Exemplar Dinner TONIGHT!

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The Class of 2019 Exemplar Dinner is being held tonight October 21, 2016.  Speakers include Mr. Mike Goode ’69 (Legacy Class),  Mr. Rick Armstrong (Life of Neil Armstrong) and Mr. Lars Hoffman, the director of Govt. Sales for SpaceX (Future of space).  The Legacy Class members are invited to attend the formal event as well.

You are invited to join US as we celebrate another USAFA Milestone!

A web page dedicated to the event will be updated throughout the night with photos from the dinner as well as the reveal of the beautiful challenge coin that was made possible by your donations to the 2019 Spirit Mission.  Click HERE for updates from the dinner.  The updated page will begin at 9:00 EST, 8:00 Central, 7:00 MT, and 6:00 Pacific.

 2019 STRONG!

2016-2017 Officers Elected

Approximately 40 individuals attended the very first 2019 Spirit Mission Annual Meeting last night.  As reported, so much was accomplished this last year for our cadets and more great things are in store in the coming years! Our success would not have been possible without the talented parents that have donated their time to organize this mission and the supporters behind us.  We want to thank you for your encouragement and for advocating so strongly for our cadets!

If you were not able to attend, its ok, we have it recorded!  Click HERE for the recording of the meeting.

MEET YOUR 2016-2017 OFFICERS

Elected for the 2016-2017 term are:

President- Lori Johns

Vice President- Renee Langstaff

VP for AOG Affairs- David Geernick

Treasurer- Suzie Ramirez

Secretary- Kim Stephens / Diane Poythress

Click HERE for a list of additional Committee Chairman and Team members.

2019 STRONG!

Annual Meeting TONIGHT!

dont-forgetPlease join us TONIGHT for the 2019 Spirit Mission annual meeting.  We will elect officers and have an update on past and future projects that support our cadets!

You may either call in by phone or link up via your computer.

Subject: Annual Business Meeting

Date and Time:
October 19, 2016
8:30 PM US/Eastern, 7:30 Central, 6:30 Mountain, and 5:30 Pacific

This meeting will take approximately 20 minutes.

Notes:
All parents of the USAFA Class of 2019 are invited to attend the 2019 Spirit Mission annual meeting and election of the Board of Directors. A report of last years events and what is to come will also be presented.

  1. Dial Into the Conference (United States): (712) 770-4700
    Access Code: 551670
    International Dial-In Numbers:
    https://www.freeconferencecall.com/wall/2019strong#international

  2. Join the Online Meeting:
    Online Meeting Link:
    https://join.freeconferencecall.com/2019strong
    Online Meeting ID: 2019strong

  3. Click HERE for the agenda, election and budget information, and meeting minutes.

Instructions:
At the scheduled date and time of the meeting, dial into the conference line.  When prompted, enter the Access Code followed by the pound key. To join the online meeting, click on the online meeting link listed above and follow the prompts to join the meeting.

Annual Meeting Reminder

meeting-reminder

Please join us for the 2019 Spirit Mission annual business meeting.  We will elect officers and have an update on past and future projects that support our cadets!

You may either call in by phone or link up via your computer.

Date and Time:
October 19, 2016
8:30 PM US/Eastern, 7:30 Central, 6:30 Mountain, and 5:30 Pacific

This meeting will take approximately 20 minutes.

  1. Dial Into the Conference (United States): (712) 770-4700
    Access Code: 551670
    International Dial-In Numbers:
    https://www.freeconferencecall.com/wall/2019strong#international

  2. Join the Online Meeting:
    Online Meeting Link:
    https://join.freeconferencecall.com/2019strong
    Online Meeting ID: 2019strong

Annual Meeting Resources

AGENDA

FINANCIALS

MEETING MINUTES

ELECTION INFORMATION

MILESTONES

Exemplar Challenge Coin Keychain Announcement

Announcing Our Keepsake Exemplar Challenge Coin Replica Keychain!

We are so proud of our third-degree cadets for the resilience and hard work they have demonstrated as they continue their schoolwork and their physical and military training. It seems like Recognition was just a few weeks ago, and yet here we are preparing to support their upcoming Exemplar Dinner.

The Cadet Exemplar Program is an avenue for each Academy class to honor and identify with a past military giant. It is designed to link our nation’s rich heritage with our boundless future. As such, the heroes who are chosen epitomize the personal characteristics that each class of cadets seeks to emulate. The Class of 2019 chose astronaut and pilot Neil Armstrong. He is recognized for his achievements in the Apollo space program, military test flight programs, and being the first man to walk on the moon. He also is remembered as being valiant, humble, and possessing tremendous integrity. What a perfect exemplar to represent our sons and daughters, and to form an unbreakable unity between past leaders and today’s future leaders!

The selected class exemplar not only becomes the cadets’ honorary class leader, but also the very namesake and identity of that particular class. Thus, when they chant their class year, you will hear them shout out STRONG for Armstrong. Throughout the cadets’ careers, the Exemplar becomes the focal point of inspiration for the cadets as they prepare for their roles as Air Force officers and future leaders.

So, how do we support the Cadet Exemplar Program? To help honor Neil Armstrong and make this evening memorable for our cadets, they will be presented with a beautiful Exemplar Challenge Coin, designed by members of the Spirit Mission Committee and made possible by your generous contributions. You will see images of the coin posted on our website and our Facebook pages after the Exemplar Dinner.

In order to continue to make this milestone memorable to cadets, parents, family members and other interested people, the Spirit Mission Committee would like to introduce an Exemplar Challenge Coin Replica Keychain. Ordering will begin through our website on Tuesday, November 1st. In return for your donation of $16, you will receive ONE Exemplar Challenge Coin Replica Keychain. The size of the Replica Coin is 1.75 inches in diameter, and it is the same high quality as the Cadet Challenge Coins, with a 3D image on each side of the metal coin. The coin is secured by a nice chain and keyring. The keychains will arrive in 2-3 weeks after your order is placed, and the donation amount includes direct shipping to you. We accept donations on our website by PayPal or by checks payable to “USAFA Class of 2019 Spirit Mission” and sent to USAFA 2019 Spirit Mission c/o Suzie Ramirez, 6311 Cordelia Rd Williamsburg VA, 23188. If you choose to pay by check, click HERE for a printable order form to mail with your check. You may order more than one, but our supplies may be limited, so order soon!

This keychain will be a wonderful keepsake to honor Neil Armstrong, the Class of 2019 Exemplar, our cadets, and their achievements at the Academy. Your donation to the USAFA Class of 2019 Spirit Mission goes toward supporting the needs of the Cadet Class of 2019. We thank you for your continued support!

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