EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --
Do you have a question you want to ask the 168th family readiness coordinator? Tiffany Ingraham is our new family readiness coordinator and is ready to meet everyone here at the Wing. She shared with us she likes asking questions and learning.
"The best way to know what to do or where to go is to get involved," said Ingraham.
The Air National Guard Airman and Family Readiness program's mission is to provide assistance, guidance, and support enhancing the quality of life for Airmen and their families.
Although Tiffany has not worked in family readiness previously, she has worked in military housing, youth programs, Family Child Care, and the Child Development Center. She finds it important to ask questions and research.
Ingraham first served as a spouse here at Eielson in 2006. Her husband is a firefighter on active duty. She knows how helpful it is to have people supporting each other as she has needed help.
"I found my Thelma to my Louise," said Ingraham. "I had someone to go get out and do things with and even with the kids. You have your support system, but it's different; you need your adventure person."
The first three years I lived here, I didn't like it, and I couldn't wait to leave. On that note, I never involved myself with anything; I was hesitant to meet people, I had never had to meet a friend before. I grew up in Colorado, stayed there until I was 23. Then here, I did not know what to do or where to go. I grew up in it, and here I had to find it as much as my mom pushed me to be a strong-willed person. I was involved in 4H, cheerleading, and everything as a young adult, and it was still hard. I guess I was scared. I just wanted to leave, and then when we left, I wanted to go back.
Ingraham said she is excited to be back in Alaska, where they have been stationed three times and plan to retire. "Now I wonder who doesn't want to live in Alaska."
"I feel like it's ok — It's reality; I think people need to know it's ok if you don't like somewhere, but you have to get out there and make the best otherwise, you will wish you had, said Ingraham."
I didn't do anything, and then I met an overly good friend — that my husband happened to walk across the street and meet as we were moving in as neighbors. She made it her mission to get me out and involved. It started with a trip to Anchorage one time, and then she planned a trip to Valdez, and we kept adventuring from there. My husband is usually gone a lot. My bubble was here.
Tiffany said, "it's not necessarily hard to get involved because of a new place like her situation, but it may be hard to connect even in a familiar place these days."
Tiffany has learned to get involved over the years and said, "I need to find my people. I wouldn't say I like to sit still. I didn't know what I was doing, but after attending and getting involved with RWB, I kept looking for more and asking, where are my people."
She found RWB, for example, and connects with the people and the organization's motto of getting involved.
"Returning here, my first event with RWB is the 9/11 stair climb, and so I felt it was meant to be back in Alaska," said Ingraham. "It not only holds so much meaning, but my husband is a firefighter. I have a few heartstrings for anything fire-related."
Tiffany is a mom of two kids aged 17 and 14 and a Mastiff mix and a Basset mix dog.
"I can relate to anyone owning big dogs trying to adventure," said Ingraham.
She said I'm not so much on the crafty side, but I'm outdoorsy — I enjoy hiking and snowshoeing. I even get on the tube and pray I don't hurt myself because I'm a little cautious. I love softball. I'm more of a what's going on what are we doing type."
Alaska feels like home — at the end of the day, there is no view that is not perfect. Even on my small drive home, I'm amazed at the trees. As soon as we got into Canada, all I could think of was the Lorax. All the trees, mountains, and the clean air.
Tiffany shared her favorite place in Alaska is Valdez.
"I've been to Seward, and Homer and Valdez are still my favorite. Of course, I haven't been to Kodiak or Juneau, but that's on the list."
Stop by the family readiness office to ask questions, share a favorite Alaska adventure, or say hi to Tiffany Ingraham.
"Most of the time, people say — 'You were nice once I got to know you.' So, take the time to get to know me."
Tiffany Ingraham can be reached in the Family Readiness office for resources, assistance, and suggestions at 377-8506.