'Quad-A' Offers Families Assistance

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2007 - An organization that has distributed more than $3 million in scholarships and interest-free education loans has entered its second half-century of service to the extended Army Aviation family.

The Army Aviation Association of America, or "Quad A," was organized 50 years ago at Fort Rucker, Ala., to support U.S. Army aviation soldiers and their families, the group's national president said.

The group's AAAA Scholarship Foundation, Inc., a member of the Defense Department's America Supports You program, furthers that purpose by offering financial assistance for educational pursuits. America Supports You highlights the ways Americans are supporting the nation's servicemembers.

Retired Army Brig. Gen. Tom Konitzer, Quad A's national president, said the organization received 148 scholarship applications in 2006 and awarded $239,000.

Some 1,788 qualified applicants have received more than $3 million in scholarships and interest-free loans since the program began in 1963, according to the scholarship foundation's Web site. Only members of the Army Aviation Association of America and their families are eligible to apply, but membership is easy enough to attain, Konitzer said.

"Anybody can join," Konitzer said, adding that the children of a member, their spouses, and the individuals themselves are eligible for the financial assistance.

Full guidelines and application procedures are available on the scholarship foundation's Web site.

The foundation's membership in the America Supports You program has provided great networking opportunities that have allowed his group to understand what other organizations are doing for the servicemen and women, Konitzer said.

Through that association, he said, he became aware of an event that Operation Gratitude's Carolyn Blashek was planning in California.

"So I asked our (California) chapter president to go over and represent us at the event to demonstrate the support for her initiative," Konitzer said.

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