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Buckley finance team volunteers to help evacuees

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE – Senior Airman Natasha Sundar, 460th Comptroller Squadron travel team technician, reviews a travel voucher for those displaced by the Colorado wildfires.  Sundar worked with her finance team for two days at the Air Force Academy processing travel vouchers and answering questions from evacuees.  (U.S. Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Nicholas Rau)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE – Senior Airman Natasha Sundar, 460th Comptroller Squadron travel team technician, reviews a travel voucher for those displaced by the Colorado wildfires. Sundar worked with her finance team for two days at the Air Force Academy processing travel vouchers and answering questions from evacuees. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Nicholas Rau)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The 460th Comptroller Squadron sent five volunteers to the Air Force Academy to assist with travel vouchers for the approximately 6,000 wildfire-affected Air Force members and their families July 9-10.

"The academy asked for some personnel from the finance office to help them reintegrate everybody that was evacuated," explained Staff Sgt. Benjamin Young, 460th CPTS budget analyst and team lead. "We had several volunteers and five of those volunteers were picked to head down to the academy."

Rounding out the remaining members of the team were Senior Airman Natasha Sundar, Senior Airman Anthony Nelson, Senior Airman Brittany Carlisle and Airman 1st Class Daniel Johnson. These Team Buckley members answered a variety of finance questions and processed an avalanche of travel vouchers.

The finance team set up in the Air Force Academy auditorium, while customers waited in line outside. The evacuees filed in one by one to have their travel vouchers reviewed to ensure there were no snags during the processing phase. It was like an assembly line, with one customer finishing and the next sitting down to get started, according to Nelson.

Over the two-day period, the finance team worked tirelessly due to the importance of their mission, according to Young.

"There was one Air Force member who lost everything in the fire," said Young. "He had just moved to the academy a month ago and his house was the only house to burn completely to the ground. We took him aside and worked with Air Force Space Command, Air Force Financial Service Center and the Air Force Accounting and Finance office to ensure he got all the entitlements he deserved."

The 460th CPTS finance travel team, made entirely of volunteers, completed their mission at the academy and returned home with the respect of not only the wildfire-effected members and their families, but the respect of their commander as well.

"I am so proud of each volunteer that stepped up and those that stayed behind to accomplish the mission," said Maj. Lisa M. Stanley, 460th Comptroller Squadron commander. "To provide this service to individuals that have already been through enough; this meant the world to them."
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