Airman Says Adopt-An-Airman Program Is Beneficial | News, Sports, Jobs

Eloise Ogden/DND Master Sgt. Asua Rose, right, contact person for the Adopt-An-Airman program, and Alicia Richards, who participated in the program, are pictured by the 5th Bomb Wing headquarters building at Minot Air Force Base.

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE – Alicia Richards didn’t know anyone when she arrived at Minot Air Force Base in July 2021 for her first military posting after Basic Training and Air Force Technical School.

When Richards, now with the rank of Airman First Class, heard about the Adopt-An-Airman program while attending the First Term Airman class at Minot AFB, she decided to participate in the program.

“I thought it might as well. It could be fun,” said Richards.

She was paired with a Minot couple. Richards, who is an emergency management apprentice with the 5th Civil Engineer Squadron at Minot AFB, said it was a good thing to do and a benefit for her to get to know the area with her adoptive family.

The basic Adopt-An-Airman program was launched in 2020 by Chief Master Sgt. Miranda Minshew. Originally, it was for anyone coming to Minot to have someone to talk to as there was a movement restriction due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff sergeant said. Asua Rose, program contact point at Minot AFB.

“Like a sponsor in a way,” she says.

Later, the program began to focus on airmen for the first time and a partnership was formed with the Military Affairs Committee of the Minot EDC Area Chamber of Commerce.

Rose, a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, arrived at Minot Base Dec. 17, 2015, and there was over two feet of snow on the ground and it was cold. She said it was a real wake-up call from Germany, where she was previously stationed but had her family.

“Yes, it was cold in Germany but it’s not comparable to here” she says. She said first term airmen “may be single, some have families, but they may not know who to turn to and we also want them to get out into the community and experience what Minot really has to offer.

Rose and Staff Sgt. Michael Butler are the program’s point of contact at the Minot base.

The program gives a local family the opportunity to share their life with an Airman while helping the Airman become familiar with the local community. A family can also be from the base.

Currently, 19 airmen are on the program. Of these, Rose said five families each adopted two airmen.

“We want to expand it, but everything is done on a voluntary basis”, she says.

Rose’s job of getting adopted families for the program involves going to the First-Term Airmen Center once a week to brief a class on the Adopt-An-Airman program.

Richards, a native of Pensacola, Florida, said after hearing about the Adopt-An-Airman program that she filled out information about herself for the program, such as her interests, the type of food she likes and what she would be interested in doing with an adoptive family.

“I was a little nervous when I was going to meet my family for the first time, but they are amazing,” she says. Richards and her adoptive family spent several months together until the family moved out of state recently.

Richards said one of the first things she and her adoptive family did was attend a play at the Mouse River Players Theater in downtown Minot.

“I didn’t even know there was a theater here, so it was new,” she says. “We also went to see some of the Minotauros hockey (games). It was my first, maybe my second hockey game that I attended.

“We probably ate at almost all of them (stressful) all“) restaurant here,” she says. She said her adoptive family made her try different foods, which she doesn’t normally do.

“I’m not really experimental when it comes to food. I have my favourites. I stay with them. But we tried Thai food here. It was good, it really surprised me. she says. “I also spent my first Christmas here with them. I had called my parents home. I went to church with them (adoptive family) and after that they took me home and we had dinner together, we played games and they even gave me a little Christmas present.

“They also took me to see the lights (in Oak Park). It was very cool. I was surprised,” said Richards.

“After our first meeting, we got along very well” said Richards.

She said her adoptive family had also adopted another airman, a friend of Richard. “We would go out and do things together” she says.

Overall, Richards said the Adopt-An-Airman program was a good experience for her.

“I would say yes, even when I was getting my legs from Minot, if you will, and learning to get by here. They were very helpful pointing out things to do and just gaining valuable knowledge about the area,” she said, adding “They are very caring people.”

How to become an adoptive family

Those interested in becoming an adopted family with the Adopt-An-Airman program can contact Staff Sgt. Asua Rose at 723-4429 or by email at teamminot

[email protected]

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Ryan H. Bowman