Giving back to the community is more than a mission for NAU’s Arnold Air Society—some  members say service is in their genes.

The local chapter, known as the Curtis-Robinson squadron, is a professional, honorary service organization promoting aeronautics and service. It is comprised of cadets throughout the United States Air Force officer candidate training programs, including ROTC throughout university-level institutions and the Air Force Academy.

In addition to building strong officers for the USAF, the group is committed to helping civilians and veterans by volunteering for various community service projects around the city.

“Honor and service mean a great deal to every member of our chapter,” said Public Relations Chair Jacques Soto. “When you sign up to be an ‘Arnie,’ you go through rigorous testing that ensures each cadet is committed to our mission. Volunteering to help out in the community isn’t just a side project for us, it’s part of our DNA.”

AAS picture 02

Squadron members making blankets for veterans.

In January, Arnold Air Society kicked off “Operation Needed Warmth” in partnership with the Flagstaff Community Based Outpatient Clinic serving veterans in Coconino County. Air Society squadron members manufactured hand-tied fleece blankets and delivered them to CBOC in an effort to supply homeless veterans with blankets during the cold winter months.

Soto said the chapter has been actively volunteering in other ways around Flagstaff, including collecting and sorting food for Sunnyside Rescue Mission, chopping wood and hosting veteran’s bingo. They are currently seeking new opportunities to serve the community.

“It is a tremendous help for us when the Arnold Air Society—and all of the student groups at NAU—come in to lend a hand,” said Paul Sain, coordinator at Sunshine Rescue Mission. “Not only do we get much needed assistance from the chapter member volunteers, we personally enjoy helping them learn new skills and share the spirit of giving here at the rescue mission.”