Our History

(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)

Our History

In the late 1960s, 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

2004 – Foundation name changed to Air Force Enlisted Village

2005 – Hawthorn House (assisted living) opens

2011 – Memory care wing at Hawthorn House opens

2015 – Bob Hope Village 5 opens, creating a consolidated community

2020 – Bob Hope Village 6 opens adding 63 new units to our community

Air Force Enlisted Village logo

Air Force Enlisted Village

92 Sunset Lane

Shalimar, FL 32579

850-651-3766

Toll Free: 1-800-258-1413

Email: mail@afev.us

© 2020 by Air Force Enlisted Village.

Bob Hope Village logo

Bob Hope Village

Independent Living

Schedule a tour: 850-651-9422

Hawthorn House logo

Hawthorn House

Assisted Living/Memory Care

Schedule a tour: 850-609-2550

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

Let's Stay in Touch

Stay in the know about Air Force Enlisted Village news and events by subscribing to our  weekly 

e-newsletter, AFEV Insider.