Resource advisor honors fallen in behind the scenes work

  • Published
  • By Christin Michaud
  • Air Force Mortuary Affairs Public Affairs
One of Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations' civilians has a significant impact on staff members and families for her behind-the-scenes role in honoring America's Fallen.

Candy Popper, the 'money lady' behind the mortuary mission for almost two decades, is the resource advisor at the Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs, Dover Air Force Base, Del.

As the resource advisor, she manages AFMAO's budget, logistics, civilian pay and travel orders.

She joined the mortuary mission as a resource advisor in the fall of 1993 when the mortuary was part of the 436th Services Squadron and continued her service when the organization stood up in 2008.

She's garnered a reputation as the 'money lady' for her work in eliminating unnecessary spending and securing funds to fulfill the obligation of honoring America's fallen.

"Her efforts have driven efficiencies in our operation that have literally saved hundreds of thousands of dollars, money that the Air Force can now use for other priorities," said Eddie Adelman, Programs and Facilities Branch chief.

Popper, along with budget analyst Larrie Sheldon, provides the resources to carry out the mission with control of contracts for vehicles, equipment maintenance, the Mortuary Operations Management System and the warehouse with everything from bed linens for the Fisher House for Families of the Fallen to chemicals for embalming.

"We support anything needed to return the fallen to their families," said Popper.

That includes funding for travel of family members and military escorts to Dover to witness the dignified transfer of their loved one and to and from funerals for fallen heroes.

"I am a supporter of the supporters -- behind the scenes," she said. "But I know that the casket, uniform, family travel, etc., couldn't happen without resource management. I know I'm giving back for those who gave all."

In addition to the work she does for families of the fallen, she manages payroll and personnel systems for 36 civilians who support the sacred mission.

"I can't say enough about Candy Popper and what she does to support our mission," said Adelman. "She's the power behind the scenes that makes sure we have the resources to get the job done; and through it all she always keeps a smile and positive attitude."