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Shining the Spotlight on Veteran Staff: Tammy

National Home Case Manager, Tammy grew up in a veteran family. Her father, who served two years in the Army, and her uncle, who served two years in the Marine Corps, were both role models to her growing up. She knew she wanted to be a part of the military somehow, so she joined the Army National Guard while she was in college. “Being a Veteran myself gives me a greater understanding when working with other Veterans.” Says Tammy. “I feel that having that Veteran link gives me a deeper connection not only with the Veteran clients that I work with but also to our supporters, the VFW, and the VFW Auxiliary.” Tammy spent ten years in the National Guard, serving her first five years in a forward support battalion (FSB) in a Maint Company where she was responsible for maintaining the stock of parts needed or vehicles in the Motorpool. After discovering her proficiency with typing and being organized, she was moved to the Administrative office where she maintained personnel records, payroll and assisted the CO and 1SG. Her last five years, she was moved to a Public Relations unit that opened many doors for her. While working with this unit, she wrote news stories and articles in communications pieces that the Michigan National Guard published. While with this unit, she traveled to Germany for journalism assignments. She was offered the opportunity to take a leave of absence to work in Lithuania, teaching English for a NATO program. When she was in college, she met a girl who had grown up at the VFW National Home for Children, and after having her daughter, she knew she wanted to leave the National Guard, but still hoped to work with and near Veterans. In October of 2000, she came to work at the National Home. She spent ten years as a Youth Specialist working with children in the National Home’s former residential program, and after that, she was offered the opportunity to work with the parents in the program. She now works as a case manager in the National Home’s Program Department, helping guide the military and veteran families living at the National Home. “What I like best about working at the National Home is seeing grateful, open minds and motivated people come to campus.” Said Tammy. “I like what the Home can do for a family. If a person brings their family to the National Home and puts their nose to the grindstone, they will get remarkable life-changing opportunities. What I like most is seeing that type of person come to the door bright-eyed, full of ambition, and be ready to take advantage of their time here.” “The VFW National Home for Children being a non-profit is a combined effort of all of us donating time, money, and wisdom to help these families.” “I like to see the parent work hard and be part of celebrating their success and to see the kids be able to be kids, ride their bikes, go fishing, play in the gym, and have opportunities that they otherwise may have not had. I like that the National Home can take the stress off the parent so that they can be more relaxed and focused on their own goals, which in turn ultimately allows them to be better parents to their kids.” Tammy and her daughter, who is now a junior at the University of Michigan, enjoy spending time with their horses, going for long horseback rides, and taking them camping. She also enjoys walking her dogs, restoring furniture, kayaking, and spending time with family and friends.

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