Thinking of and Working to Support our Military

August 30, 2021Doug Peters, President & CEO of the Abilene Chamber

Have you ever stopped to think about how Dyess Air Force Base came to be? Where it came from?

I do, all the time. As a student of history, I’ve had the remarkable privilege of looking at the records of the Chamber organization, and tracing its history and accomplishment over the course of the last 114 years. There’s a lot to gain by understanding where we’ve come from.

I was really intrigued by the discovery that a group of community leaders, organized through the Chamber, raised the funds to acquire the land that our Base sits on today.  But their effort didn’t stop there. They also took the promise of a military installation to Washington, D.C. and convinced the Defense Department to invest in a base here.  But what’s most compelling about this story is that as a community, we’ve never stopped servicing what we sold. And there began Abilene’s love affair with the United States Air Force (USAF) and Dyess Air Force Base.

I’d be remiss in writing about our beloved Air Base and our airmen and their families if I didn’t first recognize the major loss our country and military family suffered last week in Afghanistan. Our friends and neighbors in Abilene know what it feels like to be down range and as a community, we know the sacrifices our friends at Dyess make to support freedom and to keep peace across the globe.

It’s tragic events like what is happening in Kabul that remind us all of the importance of the role our longstanding and accomplished Military Affairs Committee (MAC) has in supporting and growing the mission at Dyess Air Force Base. Please join the Chamber and me in keeping our military members and the families of those lost, as well as those still in-country, in your thoughts and prayers.

And because our work alongside Dyess hasn’t stopped for more than 60 years, there are two important military-related initiatives underway that I hope you’ll consider – one here at home, and one in our nation’s capital. Both are important for their own reasons.

Coming up in Oct., the Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee will be leading a delegation to Washington, D.C. to share the Abilene/Dyess story with our elected officials in the US House and Senate, and inside the Pentagon. We’d love for you to consider joining us because it’s important to relay the deep commitment our community has to our military efforts.

Departing Abilene Regional Airport on Tuesday, Oct. 18 and returning on Friday the 21st our DC Fly-in is designed to help better acquaint you with the mission of our Military Affairs effort, but also to have you lend your voice to the effort that supports the work we do to advocate for Dyess. This experience will also provide participants with a unique opportunity to share your own perspective with our federal government on topics important to you and your company.

Pre-paid packages are available to make it super easy for you to participate. Availability is limited to 20 participants in order to manage the size of the meetings with our elected officials. You won’t want to miss this.

For more information on the DC Fly-in, please look HERE or contact Ashley Knowlton.

In addition, in just a few short weeks we’ll tee off our Busted Putter golf tournament, an opportunity for you play alongside our airmen and military leadership while enjoying a fun day on the golf course.

This year’s tournament will take place at the Abilene Country Club on Oct. 25, beginning with a shotgun start at 9:00 am. Teams are filling up fast, and there may even be a sponsorship opportunity or two remaining.

What’s especially fun about this golf outing is that you get to play with three of your own folks, but have the added luxury of a fourth player on your team – none other than an active duty airmen or military leader. Nothing can be more enjoyable than that, except maybe watching me shank my ball out of play on just about every single hole (I usually get warmed up after about 16 or 17 holes).

You can find more information about Busted Putter here.

Again, pray for our service members and our country along with our Dyess airmen and their families. And join us as we put promise into practice in support of the mission of Dyess Air Force base, just as we have for the last 65 years.



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