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AAHA gears up for eventful year

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- The African-American Heritage Association on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, has new ideas and events planned for the upcoming year.

The AAHA was established at Andersen in 2012, and their mission is to spread the word about African- American history and heritage through teachings and various awareness events they host for the base and community.

"We try to incorporate African-American history in the events we host," said Staff Sgt. Oliver Abraham, 36th Civil Engineer Squadron and AAHA president. "That way our audience can learn something new about black history they may not have known."

The most recent activities the group hosted include an open mic event held in November that drew more than 70 performers from the Air Force, Navy and Army, who performed everything ranging from songs to poems and comedy. Volunteers from the AAHA also recently partnered with the Manna Fellowship Church in Dededo, Guam, to feed the homeless on Thanksgiving.

When it comes to volunteering, AAHA members say they are always ready and willing to donate their time.

"I love volunteering; AAHA has helped me find a sense of belonging and provided me the opportunity to feel recognized and included," said Airman 1st Class Deandre Knight, 36th Communication Squadron and AAHA member.

In the upcoming year, the group has many activities planned that will include base participation as well as community-partnered events. In January, there will be a Martin Luther King Jr. Day honorary march on base, as well as various events throughout February to recognize Black History Month, to include a 5K run and a barbeque at the beach.

Members of the AAHA may volunteer and host various events, but they also strive to mentor the younger Airmen in the group.

"We mentor our younger folks, we let them know how important it is to stay active in the community," Abraham said. "The young Airmen are the future of our organization and we want to guide them in the right direction by being positive role models."

With the numerous events and volunteer projects, the AAHA is not only being recognized by base members, but also by the community.

"We get emails all the time where people just like to thank us for what we do in the community," Abraham said.

Anyone interested in joining or for more information on the AAHA, contact Abraham at 366-4180 or email 36cpts.fma.1@us.af.mil.