By Charlene Wilde
Senior Vice President and Assistant Secretary, AAFMAA
What has AAFMAA meant to me? When I started working in the Survivor Assistance department at the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA) in 2015, I had no idea how much this company would impact my own former Military Family. Within months after accepting my position, my father — a proud retired Marine Corps Master Sergeant with service in Vietnam — was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and given weeks-to-months to live. I turned to my own work department for help dealing with this news.
AAFMAA’s Survivor Assistance department educates our AAFMAA Members throughout their lifetime about their earned benefits and entitlements for their families. With this knowledge, I immediately went to work finding out everything I needed to know for my own family. We gathered all the necessary records together and helped to educate my mother about would happen when my father passed. We were so lucky to enjoy six months with him after his diagnosis so that, when he did pass, he could be at full peace knowing my mom would be well taken care of by the AAFMAA team.
When I went to the funeral, I brought with me all the documents my mom would need to apply for her DFAS and VA benefits. Knowing AAFMAA is there for all of its Members, providing ongoing expertise and assistance in applying for benefits (and more) anytime it’s needed, was a great relief. The team at AAFMAA treated my family as if they were their own family. My mother is eternally grateful to AAFMAA for helping her throughout her most difficult time in her life.
Even though I was a very new employee, the AAFMAA management and my fellow coworkers empowered me to fully embody our company’s mission to deliver compassion, trust, and protection to all of its Members. I will never forget it.
An Amazing Tribute from Charlene’s Mom:
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