Goodyear, Ariz. (Jan. 17, 2010) – Senator John S. McCain attended Fighter Country Partnership’s annual membership meeting Saturday where he was praised for his ongoing efforts to support Luke Air Force Base and its military and civilian employees and families.  He was recognized by the organization for being a champion of Luke over his many years of public service.

McCain received a standing ovation from more than 250 members and guests in attendance as he was presented with The Wing Coin and Chairman’s Award by Brigadier General Kurt Neubauer, 56th Fighter Wing Commander, and Charley Freericks, Chairman of Fighter Country Partnership’s board of directors.

“We were honored to have Senator McCain attend our annual meeting. It gave our members a chance to hear Arizona’s rich history of support and protection for Luke and its mission,” said Freericks. “We are fortunate that along with overwhelming community support, we also have unprecedented legislative and congressional support.”

Senator McCain spoke about the importance of community support organizations like Fighter Country Partnership in keeping Arizona’s military installations open and active.

“Fighter Country Partnership has done an outstanding job in providing high-quality programs, events, and services for our troops,” said Senator John McCain.  “Their tireless dedication to the welfare of our service members and their families at Luke is extraordinary, and I’m honored to be recognized by the Partnership tonight. “

Fighter Country Partnership is a not-for-profit organization that supports the men, women, families, and mission of Luke Air Force Base through a variety of public advocacy efforts and support programs. The organization’s Fighter Country Foundation, with the financial support of community sponsors, provides care packages for military members deployed, and activities and financial support for the families of those military service men and women.

Each year, Fighter Country provides more than $100,000 of direct support to programs and events on Base and in the last few years has raised more than $2 million to assist families of Airmen killed in the line of duty.

Fighter Country Partnership is a leader in the effort to ensure that Luke Air Force Base continues as the training base for the new F-35 and its military personnel through the “Luke Forward” campaign, which has already registered over 14,000 community supporters.