Master Sergeant Denyse S. Gordon

Short, sweet and always smiling!

These are the words that always come to mind every time I think of Tara. Tara and I met in Germany while I was stationed there from 1999 – 2001. I was in charge of the base Honor Guard and SrA Jacobs was part of my squad. Tara may have been short in stature, but she was such a huge personality, consummate professional, and such a go-getter it was hard to ignore her shine! She was one of the component’s Superstars – and one of my sharpest troops.

Fast forward several years and I found myself on Andrews Air Force base getting ready for a Physical Training Test. I was driving to the gym and saw a troop running – obviously doing her morning PT. I passed her and said to myself – “Was that Tara?”. Well, I got to the gym, changed into my PT gear and waited outside for the test to begin. Then, walking up to the gym came the same troop I saw running – and yes, it was Tara – and yes, she was smiling!

Short, Sweet and always smiling – yes, Tara may not physically be here with us  today. But each time you think of her and that huge smile, know that she is at peace! I am honored to have met such a great woman warrior – my fellow airman – fellow sister in arms!

Tara’s sacrifice is not in vain. Her life, her service to her country, and to the United States Air Force will not and should be forgotten. And through this foundation and the many friends, colleagues, cohorts and extended family that Tara’s memory and legacy touched – She will not be forgotten!


Denyse S. Gordon, Master Sergeant, United States Air Force
Ms. Veteran America, 2012