The cover of the AIR FORCE SERGEANTS Association Magazine Volume VIII, NO. 9 of September-October 1969 was in memory of MSgt. Frank W. Garner, life member Number 9.
ABOUT THE COVER
Our cover this month is in memory of a stalwart AFSA member, a man who began with AFSA from its birth and who supported AFSA in its every goal until his death: MSgt. Frank W. Garner, Life Member Number 9.
Sergeant Garners years with AFSA should serve as a guideline for all members to follow for he amassed a record of notability. He began by helping to organize the Otis AFB Chapter in December 1961, served as chapter PIO until July 1962, appointed to the Board of Trustees in Chapter 202, August 1962, elected chapter 1st VP in January 1963, appointed chapter president in October 1964 when Joseph Brosnan was elected to National 2nd VP, elected chapter president in January 1965, elected to the office of National 1st VP in October 1965 and served on numerous committees until his death in 1967 in an aircraft accident.
At the 1967 convention, the Frank W. Garner Scholarship Fund was instituted in his memory and has awarded two $1,000 scholarships to dependents of AFSA members. The first award went to Michael N. Smith, son of CMSgt. And Mrs. Raymond E. Smith, Jr. in 1968. The second award went to Karen D. Mrotek in 1969.
The poetry depicted on the cover was written the night after Sergeant Garners death by a very close friend, both in the AFSA and daily life, MSgt. Joe Brosnan.A SENTINEL SLEEPS
Freedoms Eagle in your lofty place
The lowly seagull envised your grace
And Lofty Sentinels post which was your charge
The faith and trust that people held in you
Lonely silver eagle of the sky
Sunlight sparkled on your graceful wing
A wheeling coasting ethereal thing
In dark your presence known by winking eye
A hot and stinging pain consumed your fathers
You came down to the sea to cool the flame
Now poor lonely one with black scorched wing
No more you course the endless oceans sky
So peaceful now, you sleep on oceans floor
Faithful warrior felled, you watch no more.
The following article appeared in the Air Force Sergeants Association Magazine
"We Wont Forget You"
On Tuesday night , 27 April 1967, AFSA lost one of its top leaders. National First Vice President, MSgt Frank W. Garner, Jr., was a Flight Engineer on the Radar Picket plane out of Otis AFB which crashed into the sea off Nantucket Island. Several other crew members on the aircraft were members of Chapter 202 at Otis.
AFSA has suffered a great loss in Franks death. A big man physically, he was also a big man in his efforts to build AFSA and bring reality out of the mere idea that AFSA was in the beginning. Frank moved up to the National V.P. slot because of the hard work and leadership he had shown as a member and the President of Chapter 202. He took his position as a National Executive Council member very seriously and no amount of effort or expenditure of time was too great for Frank when he was working for AFSA. He used his cross country flying trips to great effect, and was constantly working with local Chapters at various locations to give them a boost and help them grow.
Frank was no "rubber stamp" Council member and would fight to the last second for a point if he felt he was right. On several occasions, the only thing that saved him from a beating at my hands was his size--and my fear! Once a consensus was reached, however, Frank would dig in and back the majority to his utmost. Frank was buried in Springfield, Illinois on 3 May with full Military honors. Executive Director, Joe Brosnan and I were present, as were many members of the Otis Chapter, who flew out on a Connie to pay their last respects to Frank.
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I think it appropriate to say, "So long, Frank, well done, AFSA is better because of your efforts, and we wont forget you!"