With over 200 Student Organizations on campus, it is often difficult to remember the function of fifty, let alone all. One unique organization that has recently increased its activity in the surrounding community is the Arnold Air Society (AAS).
It is open to Air Force ROTC cadets who wish to add that “something extra” to their résumé. Named after General Henry “Hap” Arnold of the United States Air Force, the first five-star general of the Air Force, AAS seeks to improve its members by instilling unselfish dedication in them, resulting in better leaders for the Air Force. It seeks to develop Air Force ROTC cadets into men and women who strive to live up to the legacy of those who have gone before them.
We are only alive today due to the sacrifices others have made to protect our country and its ideals. Freedom is not free, as so many car magnets tell us nowadays, but how often do we really reflect on this concept? No one can imagine what torture, mental, emotional, and physical, such brave heroes like Prisoners of War and those who are Missing in Action experienced during their ordeals, being stripped of months and years of their lives, let alone the ultimate sacrifice of dying for their country. The only way to truly keep their memory and spirit alive is by doing that which they did for us — sacrificing self for the service of the greater good.
Arnold Air Society is a professional, honorary service organization advocating the support of aerospace power. Cadets go through a rigorous ten-week training program that includes long hours of strenuous exercise, drill (marching), community service, and team-building activities. The “service” aspect is perhaps the foremost in the mind of many members, because of the society’s continuing contributions to our campuses, our communities, and our corps. However, the primary mission is to improve members to be better prepared to become future Air Force officers. An attitude of unselfish dedication is the goal of every member in AAS, and though professional development and various service projects, members are better able to discover their potential not only as officers, but also as human beings.
The AAS Charles Scharf Squadron (CSS) at Marquette University applies the concept of giving oneself to a greater cause through the performance of service projects. It is only thought walking in another’s shoes and experiencing a small amount of what he/she goes through everyday that we are able to vaguely comprehend the hardships he/she experienced. Also, essential to the CSS is the concept that “no one gets left behind,” in reference to POW/MIAs. TO further enhance this concept, members are assigned a Wisconsin area POW/MIA from the Korean and Vietnam Wars. They not only give a short presentation on him, but they may even have the chance to meet with them or one of their relatives. Exposure to first hand accounts often brings the POW/MIA to life for the member. With this knowledge, the member is better able to understand the needs of the community and those around us. Not only does this help members to relate to the service projects, which usually involve working with veterans in the area (American Legion, nursing home visits, VA Hospital visits), but they can share the information with the Marquette and Milwaukee area communities.
Within the next year, AAS will be performing projects throughout the community, a few of which might be open to interested public. We will be forever indebted to those who have willing sacrificed all for the hope of a future for America, but each person can at least attempt to return the favor by helping out those in need. If you wish to find out more information about AAS or about our civilian sister organization, Silver Wings, please contact [email protected] or [email protected]
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