Voices of the VaANG: Master Sgt. Tamara Swift

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Lucretia Cunningham
  • 192nd Wing

“Being a good steward in the community is part of who we are. I definitely feel like community service is one of the most important things I do because I know I’m not the only person in this world who’s ever needed to reach out. For probably the last six or seven years, I’ve coordinated the volunteer events for our squadron — if I wasn’t coordinating it, I was definitely participating in it. I kind of just took the role on naturally, on my own. My first marriage wasn’t quite so good, but I was able to get out of that to get on with my life, and the Virginia Air National Guard was part of that life change. I think that’s probably why it feels a little bit more personal. 

Volunteer service is also important in regards to the ‘Whole Airman Concept.’ I’m taking care of my Airmen by giving them opportunities to serve in the community and see through other people’s eyes. For my noncommissioned officers coming up, it’s about making sure they don’t get stuck in that track where they’re only worried about professional military education and a stripe — you have to take care of people too. 

Right now, I’m working to donate to a local women’s shelter. There’s a family getting ready to move out, and they’re going to need a whole house full of things including furniture. I’m going to take what I can collect and give it to them as soon as possible. 

You can’t judge books by their covers, always look to help people. You don't know what people’s experiences are; you cannot judge them based on what you see or even what you hear. Dig a little deeper, take some time to help people.” — Master Sgt. Tamara Swift, 192nd Intelligence Squadron flight chief