One of the things you may have noticed about AAFMAA Mortgage Services LLC (AMS) is that we’re a lot like you. Many of us have served in the military, or are military spouses — so we’ve been where you are. When it comes to home financing, we deeply understand the service you need and deserve.
Take Arbie Adkins, one of our Military Mortgage Advisors in Wilmington, North Carolina. Adkins joined the United States Marine Corps in the 1990s and served for six years as an ammo tech. He later worked in law enforcement and for an insurance company before joining AMS. “It’s been a breath of fresh air,” he tells us.
“You have good days and bad, just like any company, but the culture is one that supports you,” he says. “We work together to help our clients, and that helps us become successful too.”
As a Military Mortgage Advisor, Adkins works with active-duty, as well as retired and separated servicemembers. “Once a Marine always a Marine,” he says. “The military was good to me and even though I’m no longer active, I’ve stayed here near Camp Lejeune so I’m able to give back to the community.”
Getting a Second Opinion
John Lavelle, a Military Mortgage Advisor in Virginia Beach, followed a similar route to AMS. Lavelle joined the U.S. Navy after high school and served four years on tours that took him around the world. “I enjoyed it, and I got to see places I know I'll never get to see again,” he says. “Little did I know that experience would help me in my job with AMS and with mortgages in general.”
After the Navy, Lavelle worked in sales and eventually moved into the mortgage business where he’s worked 20 years.
“Mortgages are really like being in sales — you're helping people,” Lavelle says. “At AMS I have the opportunity to help people a lot like me. I’m at the pinnacle of my career and enjoying every minute.”
He describes the AMS environment as one that’s relationship-based, where he can “go the extra mile” for clients and foster relationships.
Part of a Long Tradition
Military traditions are embedded in the culture at AMS. We’re part of the story of AAFMAA, which began in 1879, just three years after Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer (former brevet Major General) led his ill-fated expedition (Custer's Last Stand) against the Cheyenne and Sioux in the Dakota Territory, culminating in the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
At that time, when a soldier was killed in the field, the survivors would commence a “passing of the hat” to raise money that would be used to transport the soldiers’ dependents back East to the care of relatives and friends.
In the case of the 7th Cavalry, that tradition collapsed. There were no survivors.
That battle starkly emphasized the desperate circumstances of bereaved Army families of that era.
Officials in the U.S. War Department saw the need for an Association to take care of fellow soldiers. The founding documents for AAFMAA were prepared by a Committee of Army Officers chaired by Lieutenant Colonel (later Brigadier General) Roger Jones, Assistant Inspector General of the Army. The expressed purpose was “to aid the families of the deceased members in a prompt, simple, and substantial manner.”
From that simple start, AAFMAA has grown to serve multiple generations of servicemembers around the world with insurance and mortgage products.
A Common Mission
“What we do is very simple,” says Adkins. “We help people buy their forever homes or vacation homes, refinance to get a better rate, or tap into their home’s equity to get the money they need.”
“We’re able to help. I take pride in being a Marine and helping these fellow service people in my work,” Adkins says. “It’s an instant connection… a bond that we have. That's one of the things I love about this company.”
“I get to give back and be part of this culture of helping servicemen and -women who have done so much for our country.”
Enjoying Our Special Bond, and Special Day
Both Arbie and John observed Veterans Day at home, surrounded by friends and family, many of whom also served.
“As I’ve gotten older, this day of remembrance has become more important to me,” says Lavelle.
“I’ll think about my father, who served during the Korean War, and the many others who have given their lives for us and made this country great.”
“When you have a company like AMS that's so strongly tied to the military, it heightens your awareness to the magnitude of what Veterans Day really is.”
On Veterans Day, and throughout the year, AMS and all of our team members give thanks to you, our Members, and celebrate the special and unbreakable bond we all share.