Raising morale Published June 18, 2013 By Senior Airman Jared Duhon 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- Morale is something which can make or break a military unit. When it is high, unit personnel support the men and women next to them. Booster clubs were created to help keep morale high. The clubs raise money for gifts to show appreciation, as well as provide opportunities for squadron personnel to build camaraderie. The squadron booster club holds social gatherings to help boost morale, said Veronica Torres, 436th Operations Support Squadron air traffic control journeymen and 436th OSS booster club vice president. The gatherings are also an opportunity for everyone in the squadron to learn about each other and build trust. Booster club funds are not only used for social events, but also help offset the cost of retirements. "When someone dedicates 20 years of their lives and their families' lives they deserve, at the very least, everyone's gratitude," said Master Sgt. Rick Dumont, 9th Airlift Squadron flight engineer. "There are a lot of Airmen who don't do more than their first enlistment, not a lot of people can do 20 years or more." Appreciation isn't limited to just retiring personnel. Senior Master Sgt. Mike Green, 9th Airlift Squadron assistant supervisor flight engineer, said it is important to show gratitude to Airmen as they leave the squadron. Showing them you appreciate their work and time spent away from their families. It's a nice feeling to look back at the trinkets they have received from former squadrons. To fund these gatherings and gifts, the booster clubs participate in events such as security for the Firefly music festival and concessions at Dover International Speedway during NASCAR races. "Each year, we get the opportunity to work concessions at NASCAR," said Capt. Michael Mohr, 3rd Airlift Squadron C-17 pilot, support flight commander and 3rd AS booster club president. "Our labors at NASCAR help provide the funds to carry out morale, welfare and recreational events, such as our end-of-the-year holiday party and various picnics throughout the year."