ABILENE, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) – Abilene, once again, is being recognized for its superior support of Dyess Air Force Base.
The Association of Defense Communities and USAA announced today that Abilene is one of five members of the 2020 Class of Great American Defense Communities.
“The strength of our military starts at home, in America’s defense communities,” said ADC President Joe Driskill. “We are proud to recognize Abilene as a community that supports the service members in a lot of ways, and through a variety of programs.”
The communities recognized by the Great American Defense Communities program demonstrate exemplary work in improving the quality of life of military personnel and their families through programs, initiatives and partnerships in their regions.
“To receive this recognition is a fabulous tribute to the members of our community who support the mission, Airmen and families of those who are giving the ultimate sacrifice; the continuous fight for our freedom,” said Gray Bridwell, Vice President of Military Affairs at the Abilene Chamber of Commerce. “We’re humbled and honored to receive this recognition and look forward to continuing the heritage at Dyess Air Force Base.”
Greg Blair, Chair of the Military Affairs Committee of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, said, “The history of Abilene’s support of Dyess Air Force Base goes back six decades when civic leaders raised the money to give the Pentagon enough land to establish a large airbase. We could not be more delighted with the news that Abilene has been recognized as one of ‘America’s Great Defense Communities.’ This is another in a long line of honors we’ve received for our support of the base, its people and its mission.”
Abilene Mayor Anthony Williams, commented, “This great, nationwide honor is just another example of what comes out of Team Abilene. You get the community, led by the Military Affairs Committee of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, on tasks and they get it done. Their work is not a one-and-done mission. It goes on every day, working to support the base, its mission and its airmen and their families.”
Abilene’s nomination outlined some of the many support activities the community has done for the base. Among them were: the purchase of the land where Dyess sits today; construction of the Distinguished Visitors Quarters where all General Officers stay when visiting Dyess was built and paid for by Abilene Community leaders; purchase of 162 live oak trees; purchase of the digital projector for the base theater; golf course shelters; parade ground reviewing stands; bronze airpark monuments for 31 aircraft; off base privatized housing for 402 military families; effluent waterline installed for green space irrigation on Dyess (Golf Course); plus dozens of joint events between Dyess and City personnel benefiting Dyess personnel.
The Great American Defense Communities program, now in its fifth year, was established to recognize the role that communities and regions with active installations in the U.S. play in supporting service members and military families. Communities are chosen through a competitive nomination process based on community building and integration, support and collaboration, and educational and employment opportunities, and family support.
Other communities recognized in the 2020 Class of Great American Defense Communities are: Central Arkansas for its support of Little Rock AFB, Greater Ogden, Utah for its support of Hill AFB; Junction City, Kansas, for its support of Fort Riley; and St. Clair County, Illinois, for its support of Scott AFB.
ADC is the connection point for leaders from communities, states, the military and industry on community-military issues and installation management to enhance knowledge, information sharing and best practices. With nearly 300 communities, states, regions, and affiliated industry organization as members.
The USAA family of companies provides insurance, banking, investments, retirement products and advice to 12.3 million current and former members of the U.S. military and their families.
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