Military News

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Heroes at Home: GFAFB hosts financial education event

by Airman 1st Class Ryan Sparks
319th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

5/14/2015 - GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- The 319th Force Support Squadron and the Airman and Family Readiness Center hosted a financial education event entitled Heroes at Home May 12, 2015, at the Northern Lights Club here.

Heroes at Home is a good will educational tour sponsored by the United Services Automobile Association (USAA). The event focuses on a variety of financial topics meant to educate and prepare Airmen to be financially responsible.

"We're trying to help improve military readiness through financial readiness," said Ellie Kay, consumer finance consultant and best-selling author. "That's our main mission."

Kay and her team that consists of Gerri Detweiller, Ingrid Burns and Bethany Grace visited Grand Forks Air Force Base as part of a six base tour. Kay is a consumer finance consultant and successful author, Detweiller is a credit expert, Burns is with USAA and focuses on retirement and savings, and Grace is the emcee for the events.

Kay said that USAA wanted Grand Forks AFB to be one of only six bases out of the 55 that applied to receive the tour because Grand Forks AFB typically doesn't get the bigger events.

The Airmen in attendance seemed to enjoy the event.

"I thought it was very informative," said Airman 1st Class Joseph Fabiano, 319th Civil Engineer Squadron engineering apprentice. "It will definitely help me with my financial decisions."

"I really enjoyed it," said Senior Airman Kimberly Kornett, 319th CES engineering apprentice. "It was very enlightening."

As a wife and mother of military members, Kay has been around the military for her entire life. She wants service members to realize the importance of financial readiness.

"One of the main reasons that it's so important to be financially responsible is because they have a real world mission. They have to focus on that real world mission. If they are distracted by financial problems, then that distraction could lead to accidents," said Kay. "When there are accidents, there can be a loss of life."

Kay has advice for all service members to follow.

"The biggest mistake that military members and their families can make when it comes to finances is to do nothing at all," said Kay.

The Airman and Family Readiness Center provides several services regarding personal finances said Cheryl Anderson, Airman and Family Readiness Center director.

Anderson said the A&FRC offers classes pertaining to a variety of financial topics. She said they currently have a class addressing finances during deployment. The classes can be requested by any Airmen.

"Our most popular services are the personal appointments, "said Anderson. " The member can get a free [credit] score and work on their budget."

Kay said she feels that the A&FRC is a valuable resource.

"I call it my $300 tip to come into the Airman and Family Readiness Center," said Kay. She said the free financial consultants provided by the A&FRC would cost at least $300 outside of the Air Force.

Airmen are taking accountability for their finances said Kay.

"They are becoming more proactive. They are taking charge of their own finances and they realize that coming in to the A&FRC and talking with an accredited financial counselor is a smart thing to do," said Kay. "It's not a last resort."

For more information contact the A&FRC at 701-747-3241.

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