The Texoma area is the recipient of a very large gift – the military families and civilians assigned to Sheppard Air Force Base.
These families help protect our freedom in the United States and abroad. They are willing to give their lives that we might continue to live in a free country. They work together here and on foreign soil. They are not all American military. Many are from Europe and other parts of the world. We should forever be grateful to these individuals and their families. As local hosts of our military guests, we need to ask each other what we can do to continue showing our support and appreciation.
The Texoma area receives much more than just protection of our freedom. Sheppard contributes 20 percent to our area’s economy. That equates to over one billion dollars coming in to Texoma each year from Sheppard.
It goes without saying that Sheppard is not just about dollars and cents. It also is about what these military families provide to assist this area with events and functions throughout the year. Many of these events like FallsFest, would not be possible without the asisistants of our military friends. These families have needs which include medical, education, housing, restaurants, churches, shopping, and many more. As they receive the many benefits and services our area provides, they continue to give back so much more than they receive.
Sheppard Military Affairs Committee (SMAC) is continuing the Partners in Freedom Campaign to raise funds to support this military installation, and hopefully bring more missions to Sheppard. This effort could possibly protect the base from being included in another round of BRAC cuts. If you have not yet been contacted regarding a contribution to SMAC, please consider going online to Partners In Freedom/SMAC and learn more about what is being done to try to protect Sheppard. Information online will also assist those desiring to make donations.
The large role Sheppard plays in our education system continues to make a positive impact on student and faculty lives. Many of the students go through the International Baccalaureate Program offered at Kirby and Hirschi High School. This is quite an intense curriculum with very strict disciplines. The program is a drawing card for many military families, escpecially for Euro Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) Program participants. Hopefully the Wichita Falls ISD will continue to support our military families with the International Baccalaureate Program.
Another way for business to support our military is by offering them a discount when they patronize your business. Many of our current businesses continue to advertise and offer military discounts. Please inform them that you offer a discount before they have to ask for it. This makes such a positive impact on those who are here serving our country.
The North Texas area continues to hold its own in the housing market. We have been very fortunate that we have not seen the negatives the national market has experienced. Our home sales, even though they slipped some, have been fairly steady. The MLS has been flooded with hundreds of new listings and foreclosures. All in all this area is still a very good place to purchase a home – and the value is remarkable. With the interest rates very low and bonds programs available it makes this a perfect time to find that first time home or your dream home.
As Realtors who have chosen to be involved in Sheppard and support the efforts of SMAC, we encourage and challenge all realtors and businesses to become more knowledgeable and support our friends at Sheppard. Then take time to learn about SMAC and consider making a monetary contribution to the Partners in Freedom Campaign. This would be a great way to do your part to help keep Sheppard.
I will be the first to say that if it were not for Sheppard and ENJJPT Program we would most likely have a tremendous decline in the real estate market. Many businesses might close and schools would possibly drop to a smaller district. This is a critical issue and we need your help! It is time to continue a positive business climate in Texoma by support Sheppard AFB and SMAC.