The Air Force Enlisted Village (AFEV) provides life-long support for our residents. Bob Hope Villages 1-5 consist of independent living apartments and Hawthorn House provides an assisted living with memory care option.
With the completion of Bob Hope Village 5 in 2015, the Air Force Enlisted Village will become a consolidated community located on Sunset Lane in Shalimar, FL. Residents here share memories of military life, build lasting friendships, and live comfortably in a community with their pride and independence intact.
In 2000, former President and CEO, CMSAF #9 James C. Binnicker (shown above with Bob Hope at the Village), instituted a philosophy known as “The Mom Rule” to ensure that all residents are treated with respect and dignity. “The Mom Rule” guides all AFEV employees to ask themselves these three questions when working with residents or making decisions about a resident’s care:
- Would I do this to my mom?
- Would I do this for my mom?
- Would my mom approve?
The Air Force Enlisted Men’s Widows and Dependents Home Foundation was founded in 1967 to provide a safe and dignified residence for indigent surviving spouses of retired, enlisted airmen. At the time, a survey conducted by the Air Force Sergeant’s Association determined that more than 50,000 widows of enlisted airmen were living in poverty.
To address this issue, a group of active-duty and retired Air Force noncommissioned officers, with the assistance of former Air Force Chief of Staff General John D. Ryan and his wife, created the Air Force Enlisted Widows Home Foundation, which would later become AFEV. The foundation was officially incorporated on January 17, 1968. It’s primary goal and focus was to provide a home for and financial assistance to widows of retired enlisted Air Force members.
AFEV has had support from many notable figures throughout its history, including comedian Bob Hope, retired Col Bob W. Gates, and Mr. Gerald Ford, who was honorary National Chairman of the Bob Hope Village capital campaign. In 1978, Bob Hope performed what would be the first of many benefit shows for the widows foundation. Both he and Bob Gates played a fundamental role in the development of AFEV.
1967 – Preliminary research and concept for Air Force Enlisted Widows Home Foundation
1968 – Foundation incorporated in Washington, DC
1971 – Foundation granted nonprofit 501(c)(3) status
1973 – Foundation recognized as an official Air Force charity
1975 – Teresa Village (independent living) opens in Ft. Walton Beach, FL (Teresa Village sold in 2013)
1980 – Foundation purchases USAF land for Bob Hope Village (independent living)
1985 – Bob Hope Village opens on Sunset Lane in Shalimar, FL
2004 – Foundation name changed to Air Force Enlisted Village
2005 – Hawthorn House (assisted living) opens on Sunset Lane
2011 – Memory care wing at Hawthorn House opens
2015 – Bob Hope Village 5 opens, creating a consolidated community
(October 25, 1984 – the dedication of Bob Hope Village. Dignitaries from left to right: Honorable Tidal McCoy, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force; CMSAF #8 Sam Parish and his wife; retired Lt Gen Duane Cassidy, Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel; retired Col Bob Gates, Bob Hope Village honorary Board of Directors; Bob Hope and his wife; Mrs. D.N. Masone and her husband, Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer; and Mr. and Mrs. Harry J. Gray, Chairman and President of United Technologies Corporation)