Tricia Heller '87
Blue Alliance is proud to welcome Tricia Heller as our new Executive Director. We are excited about the direction of Blue Alliance for the coming year, and thankful for Trish's leadership.
Service Before Self: These Lines Across My Face
"The Story" by Brandi Carlile starts,
"all of these lines across my face,
tell you the story of who I am,
so many stories of where I've been,
and how I got to where I am,
but these stories don't mean anything when you've got no one to tell them to . . ."
These lines resonate with me as I consider my story from the Academy and career in the Air Force. The lines in my face do show the pride, the joy, the fraternity and the sense of accomplishment in a mission complete. But the lines also show the hurt, the intense stress, the sadness and the sorrow. The dichotomy of being a good cadet, officer, pilot, leader and person was always in conflict with the policy that could never let me be COMPLETE in the Air Force.
I served my country for over 16 years trying to embody the core values of the Air Force every day - integrity, service before self and excellence in all that I did. It truly was service before self though, because in the end I saw that a policy ultimately comprimised the very essence of who I was. In the end I had to have integrity with myself every day, because I was truly proud of who I was and who I loved and all of what we represented and offered our community and country.
I'm truly grateful and proud of my Academy and Air Force roots - it made for the best lines across my face - as it gave me my professional foundation and more important my best friend and life-long partner Regina. And now the lines show the smile across my face as the circle and mission is complete because everyone can serve with integrity and excellence in all they do and all of who they are.
Tricia A. Heller | USAFA Class of 1987