Airmen in your community: Fighting in her own way

2013-09-02T00:00:00Z Airmen in your community: Fighting in her own waySenior Airman Timothy Moore 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Arizona Daily Star

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – Approximately five years ago, Ellen Jimenez attended a meeting in Tucson, Ariz., that changed both her perspective of and involvement with the U.S. armed forces.

The Military Affairs Committee (MAC) of the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce hosted a luncheon for the community and the featured guest speaker was the captain of a U.S. Navy submarine, the USS Tucson.

“I knew nothing more about the military than what the media had shared with us, which is not what you guys are really about,” said Jimenez. “The speaker really touched me. I just started crying when I heard the stories about what service members go through during their deployments and when they are at home away from their families and having to build families within your service. It really touched me. I was hooked, and I wanted more.”

Jimenez received her wish. She became a part of the MAC. She initially started out as a member, but has served as the chairman for almost three years now.

The MAC’s mission is to build and maintain bridges of understanding and cooperation between military and civilian communities within Tucson and Southern Arizona. It supports all armed services here to include the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy and their Guard and Reserve components.

Jimenez’s involvement with D-M has gone beyond that of the chairman. She also serves as the honorary commander for the 612th Air Communications Squadron here.

“Probably the highlight is that I got to go to a commander’s call,” Jimenez said. “There were some award presentations given that morning, and I was asked to help present them. I had no idea what I was doing. It was fun! It was great to be able to stand there next to these folks that have done some amazing things that I couldn’t even fathom. It was huge for me.”

Jimenez has had different experiences resulting from her roles as the chairman.

“The MAC is great because I get to know the leadership of the base,” Jimenez said. “With the 612th ACOMS, I get to know the guys on a more in-depth level.”

Jimenez says she enjoys being able to socialize with Airmen and their families more. She has been invited to promotions, retirements, farewells and even dinners.

Jimenez has also introduced service members to her family. She has brought her son, Logan, on base to meet some of the Airmen to see what they do. Furthermore, she also encouraged her son and his class to participate in morale-building events.

“I go to my son’s school every year and ask them to fill out poster boards and cards,” Jimenez said. “I’ll have my son represent the school and hand the cards out to the service members. It’s cool to show them what the Tucson community thinks of them from a teenager’s perspective.”

Jimenez attributes the motivation behind her desire to support military members to the members themselves.

“What I’ve learned from all of this is that we have a responsibility to be a part of our community,” Jimenez said. “What you guys have taught me, how involved you are. You are out there volunteering at homeless shelters, hospitals and camps. Where you guys get the time to do this, I have no idea. You have your jobs here, your families here, your home families, your kids and still you are giving up your time to volunteer in a community you don’t even really know. It’s very impressive and very inspiring.”

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

About this blog

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, known as “D-M” to our neighbors, is home to the 355th Fighter Wing, the premier air combat base for all Air Force A-10 C fighter aircraft training. Davis-Monthan is also home to other vital Department of Defense units including 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern), 55th Electronic Combat Group, 563rd Rescue Group and the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, nicknamed “The Boneyard.”

Davis-Monthan is located within the city limits of Tucson, Ariz., and has been an integral part of the Tucson community since its dedication in 1927. In fiscal year 2012, Davis-Monthan circulated approximately $1.1 billion ($1.6 billion including retirees) into the local community and created 4,687 jobs in Tucson. The more than 10,800 personnel, who are assigned and employed at Davis-Monthan, live, work and educate their children in the Tucson metropolitan area. Nearly 75 percent of our 7,537 military service members live off base.

D-M Airmen are proud to serve their country, deploying to nearly every corner of the globe. At any given time 500 or more are deployed in support of worldwide operations. D-M Airmen are also proud to call Tucson home. The valuable relationship with the Tucson community and Southern Arizona supporters helps us achieve our missions.

Check out D-M’s economic impact.

Watch our Mission video.

Read more on our website and our Facebook page.

If you have suggestions, comments or questions about this blog, e-mail: 355WGPA@DM.AF.MIL

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