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Finding Treasures in the Attic

Aerospace Ground Equipment Mechanic Staff Sgt. Dustin Haffner shops for a coat that his son may be able to use at the new 120th Airlift Wing Airman’s Attic on Dec. 6, 2014. The program provides an opportunity for members of the Montana Air National Guard to repurpose clean and serviceable clothing and household items. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Eric Peterson.

Aerospace Ground Equipment Mechanic Staff Sgt. Dustin Haffner shops for a coat that his son may be able to use at the new 120th Airlift Wing Airman’s Attic on Dec. 6, 2014. The program provides an opportunity for members of the Montana Air National Guard to repurpose clean and serviceable clothing and household items. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Eric Peterson.

120th Airlift Wing Airmen shop for free bargains at the new Airman’s Attic that opened on base Dec. 6, 2014. The program will be ran jointly by members of the Montana Air National Guard Airman and Family Readiness Program and the Junior Enlisted Council and offers free clothing and household items donated to the program by members of the Montana Air National Guard. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Eric Peterson.

120th Airlift Wing Airmen shop for free bargains at the new Airman’s Attic that opened on base Dec. 6, 2014. The program will be ran jointly by members of the Montana Air National Guard Airman and Family Readiness Program and the Junior Enlisted Council and offers free clothing and household items donated to the program by members of the Montana Air National Guard. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Eric Peterson.

Comptroller Journeyman Senior Airman Nate Blaine shows off some of the items offered for free to members of the Montana Air National Guard at the new Airman’s Attic ran by members of the Junior Enlisted Council and the Family Readiness Program. The Airman’s Attic opened for business on Dec. 6, 2014 at the 120th Airlift Wing. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Eric Peterson.

Comptroller Journeyman Senior Airman Nate Blaine shows off some of the items offered for free to members of the Montana Air National Guard at the new Airman’s Attic ran by members of the Junior Enlisted Council and the Family Readiness Program. The Airman’s Attic opened for business on Dec. 6, 2014 at the 120th Airlift Wing. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Eric Peterson.

GREAT FALLS, Mont. -- The Airman's Attic officially opened for business during the December unit training assembly at the 120th Airlift Wing of the Montana Air National Guard.
The program is operated by the MTANG Airman and Family Readiness Program office with assistance by the Junior Enlisted Council and is intended to help Airmen repurpose free clothing and household items that have been donated by fellow wing members.

The Airman's Attic is temporarily located on base within the old SATO Travel office located in the Russell Country Federal Credit Union building. An outdoor trailer parked near the credit union is available to hold additional donated items.

120th Airlift Wing Commander's Administrative Assistant Senior Master Sgt. Kim Gunter said the goal of the local Airman's Attic is to serve all ranks and needs of Guardsmen assigned to the wing.

"The Airman's Attic is a place that we can collectively bring our things together and share items amongst each other that we no longer need. Our goal is to reach out to everybody," Gunter said.

The first customer of the day for the new service was Aerospace Ground Equipment Mechanic Staff Sgt. Dustin Haffner who stopped into the Airman's Attic and was able to find some quality name-brand clothing to bring home to his four-year-old son.

"I came in to take a look around and see the good donations that people are willing to give and see what the Airman's Attic was all about and what we can do as members of the Guard to be able to receive and give, especially at this time of the year."

Comptroller Journeyman Senior Airman Nate Blaine serves as the vice president of the Junior Enlisted Council and worked one shift during the inaugural opening of the Airman's Attic.
He encourages Airmen to write down items they are seeking that are not currently available at the Airman's Attic on the wish list provided at the front of the office.

"We're looking for the Airmen's constructive criticisms of what we have and what we lack," said Blaine. "We want to know what they want and we will attempt to find it. "

The office will be staffed entirely by volunteer members from the JEC or Family Program office, but additional volunteers from other wing organizations will be welcome to assist.

"We'll never turn down a volunteer. If anyone wants to step up and volunteer we'll give them an hour slot. We're not tracking items that are being removed, but we just want a presence so if somebody has a need or if they know of somebody that has a need we can be here to take that down and try to start working that angle," said Gunter.

The Airman's Attic is also looking for additional shelving to help organize the inventory to be placed in the trailer.
Blaine considers the service provided by the Airman's Attic to be one suited for a family-oriented organization such as the MTANG.

"We live in a hyper-consumptive society where we all buy new and used goods routinely and stuff gets lost in the clutter," said Blaine. There are people who are perpetually in need of those things and those people are our family members and our coworkers and since we have the capacity to help out we should."

Haffner will return later with clothing and household items he longer uses to help return the generosity that the Airman's Attic has provided to his family.

"I plan on bringing some stuff probably tomorrow just to support somebody else that can use what I'm not using at the moment," said Haffner.

The Airman's Attic hours of operation are scheduled to run during unit training assemblies from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
For more information on volunteering to assist the Airmen's Attic or to donate clean and serviceable clothing or household items to the program please contact MTANG Airman and Family Readiness Program Manager Paige Held at 791-0122.
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