AFR Awarded DOD Contracts

Over the past few years AFR has established itself as a highly acceptable Event Planner for DOD conferences. In over 25 years of event planning 100% of events planned by AFR have been military oriented. The Department of Defense took notice. We specialize in contracting for Returning Warrior Workshops, Strong Bond Retreats, Family Readiness Retreats, and other DoD conferences.

In July, 2008 AFR was awarded a two year contract (N0018908PZ739) to provide hotel and event planning services for a series of U.S. Navy Reserve Returning Warrior Workshops. for planning U.S. Navy Returning Warrior Workshops nationwide. AFR managed hotel, food and beverage, and conference services to support workshops in 31 cities from September, 2008 through July, 2010. The program served 4,100 Navy reservists and their spouses. Capt. Virginia M. Torsch, special projects coordinator for the Office of the Chief of the Navy Reserve, stated: “We selected AFR over other bidders because of AFR’s experience in planning and managing military conferences. Their understanding of military protocol and procedure was invaluable.”

In September, 2012 AFR was reawarded a contract (N0018913CZ002) to continue planning this series of U.S. Navy Returning Warrior Workshops in 2013 and 2014. Clearly, the Navy was highly satisfied with AFR’s performance.

In 2011 AFR was awarded and planned an Air Force Public Affairs conference for 250 attendees in the Washington DC area (FA7014-11-P-0055). AFR provided all logistical and administrative support necessary to conduct the seminar, from planning through execution, including AV and IT support, speaker support, and professional consultation, advice and research. Commented Brigadier General Les A. Kodlick, Director of Air Force Public Affairs: “Please accept my sincere thanks for your outstanding support to the Air Force Public Affairs Professional Development Seminar. Through the exceptional service provided by you and the entire Armed Forces Reunions Team, you helped ensure the event was a resounding success!”

AFR has also been awarded contracts in the past for Strong Bonds Marriage Retreats for the Virginia Army National Guard.

Art Sifuentes, Executive Director of the Marine Corps Aviation Association (MCAA) and a retired Lt. Colonel in the Marine Corps, said “AFR is absolutely golden. They work with the customer better than any other organization I’ve ever seen. Defense contracts are a perfect fit for them because they understand military culture so well and how to match it with the civilian side of hotel, hospitality, transportation and catering services. They are a complete organization.”

RWW Logo to use

AFR Plans Marine Aviation Centennial

Marine Aviation Centennial Logo

AFR planned the Marine Aviation Centennial celebration in Washington D.C. in conjunction with Marine Corps HQ and the Marine Corps Aviation Association. The Gaylord National Harbor Hotel played host to the events, culminating in a gala banquet presided over by Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos. A special commemoration was held at the Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima), with special guest SecDef Leon Panetta speaking. Many dignitaries and corporate sponsors participated in events all week. Molly has planned MCAA’s annual symposiums for years and really pulled off an exceptional event for the Marine Corps’ 100th anniversary of aviation.

Gala Banquet. MCAA Exec. Director Art Sifuentes, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Molly and Ted Dey

Gala Banquet. MCAA Exec. Director Art Sifuentes, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Molly and Ted Dey

Sec Def Leon Panetta and Gen. James Amos at Centennial Ceremony, USMC Memorial Iwo Jima

Sec Def Leon Panetta and Gen. James Amos at Centennial Ceremony, USMC Memorial Iwo Jima

AFR Welcomes the 196th Light Infantry Brigade!

Julie Wysong, AFR’s top-notch Account Executive, blocked 600 rooms for the 196th Light Infantry Brigade Association for 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City. Thank you Warren Neill! We look forward to an awesome reunion in the nation’s capital. The 196th LIB was posted in the III Corps Tactical Zone, initiated Operation Attleboro in Tay Ninh Province, and moved to I Corps Tactical Zone as part of Task Force OREGON. The brigade joined the Americal Division in February, 1969.  In 1971 the brigade was relocated to Da Nang for major port security duties. The new 196th works with Reserve Component units in Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, American Samoa, and Japan.

Last WWI Veteran passes away at the age of 110!

Click here for a story about Frank Buckles, the last living WWI who passed away February 27 at the age of 110. We salute Frank and all our veterans for their service!

Publicizing Your Reunion and Finding Old Friends

We look forward to reunions, be they a meeting of old high school friends or relatives not seen in years. The opportunity to come together and relive fond memories, share recent news and pictures, and pick up nearly forgotten conversations is always welcome, and greatly enhanced by the number of people who turn out for these special days.

For some, however, those days do not exist, not because they are unwilling to revisit the good old days but because they are unable to find information on such reunions. In the business of planning military reunions, it is not common for old friends to gather and speculate on missing buddies, and wonder what had become of them. With the many resources available to vets and reunion planners, however, there is the opportunity to fill in these gaps.

Internet Military Databases

When people think of the word veteran, more than likely the image of an older person comes to mind. We tend to think of our veterans as having served in long ago wars, people one might not find too often using the Internet. Quite the contrary, the percentage of senior citizens who use the Internet has gradually risen over the years, with a good number of Internet sites dedicated solely to improving the quality of life for the aging. One must note, too, that a military veteran need not be a older person – considering Desert Storm happened just more than a decade ago, veterans of that era may be in their thirties and forties!

The Internet provides a good number of resources for retired and former military seeking to reunite with old friends. Military.com and MilitaryConnections.com, for example, provide large databases of reunion information. A simple search for your former group may yield results. Further search through sites dedicated to each branch of the service may also prove beneficial.

Veteran and Military Publications

Access to any number of regular military publications is also very helpful in tracking down information on upcoming reunions. Many of the major national organizations for veterans, including the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Disabled American Veteran, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars has a corresponding publication sent to its members. From there you can search for information, and as many of these organizations are online you may find additional news through corresponding message boards.

Military Reunion Planners

Companies dedicated to planning military reunions and gatherings are naturally a good find. When you find an organization like Armed Forces Reunions, Inc., you may find they are involved in planning the next meeting of your former group. You may be surprised, too, to know how many people were hoping you would show.

We invite you to spend some time looking around our site for more information on military reunions. Contact us today to learn how we can plan and execute a perfect reunion for your group.