It occurred to me that there is something more valuable to build and save than airstrips, and that is friendship. Friendship forms the backbone of any relationship, be it personal, professional, or organizational. Space does not allow for me to name all the people who have become the best of friends, thanks to the RAF. For sure those first few of us who started the RAF bonded out of both necessity and desire. We had a common goal, and the trust we shared overcame the hurdles we faced starting the RAF. But even more than the relationships that began and thrived here, it became abundantly clear that friendships would be the secret sauce that created the flavor of the RAF.
Friends do far more for one another than can be accounted for. I had a successful business career that was built on delivering a product for a fair price with good follow up and service added in. Those ingredients were the basis for the RAF, but so much more has happened in the 20 years since we began. If the RAF had merely utilized the typical exchange of goods and services for time put in vs benefit received, we simply would not be here today. Sure, we would have accomplished some things, but nowhere near the success that we have enjoyed together. Because at our heart, the RAF is just friends helping one another.
Without these friendships, would we be enthusiastic about a fellow supporter’s advancement to a better position? The acquisition of a new airplane? The sale of a business allowing free time to pursue RAF goals? For sure we would not sit by the phone awaiting news of a medical test result of one of our own. Or joyfully suggest that a new baby be named after one of us!
I have been so fortunate to meet so many along this journey. I can think of nothing more valuable that has been built than these enduring relationships. You have enriched the world of aviation, your friends, and, I can only hope, your own lives along the way. That, my friends, is THE RAF WAY.
– John McKenna, RAF Chairman
Submitted on September 13, 2023.