Team McChord hosts Sen. Nobles during Black History Month celebration

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Zoe Thacker

Team McChord hosted Washington State Sen. T'wina Nobles here for a fireside chat celebration of Black History Month on Feb. 24, 2022.


Nobles serves as the honorary commander of the 62nd Operational Support Squadron and as the first Black state senator to be elected into office in Washington in over a decade.


She spoke about her perseverance as a child, growing up in a military family and how she came to be a senator.


Nobles attributed her ability to empathize with and advocate for the military family to her own upbringing and journey; from living in shelters, to becoming a military spouse, to serving on her daughter’s school board and now as a senator and CEO and president of Tacoma Urban League.


“I wanted to combine my competitive nature with my heart to serve and give back to my community, so I knew as a freshman in high school that I wanted to run for office,” Nobles said. “It was the want to advocate for my own family and for other military and civilian families that pushed me to run for school board and later as you see me now, your senator.”


Nobles expressed to Team McChord Airmen how important it is to have diverse and inclusive educational opportunities for the community as a whole, but especially for military members and their families.


“When I think about our Airmen who are new to our communities, it should not be their responsibility to search and hunt for the best place for their children to go to school,” Nobles said. “They shouldn’t have to pick and choose or give things up because all of our [community’s] schools should be at that level of inclusive educational opportunities.”


The event gave Team McChord Airmen the opportunity to ask Nobles questions as well as provide feedback on the military and community needs.


“One bill that I did work on this year was to make college affordability more of a reality for our military community,” Nobles said. “With so much moving from place to place, deployments and life in general, it can be challenging to obtain residency for veterans, service members and their dependents. This bill would make obtaining a Washington state residency easier for military and their families in order to qualify for in-state tuition.”


When asked what Airmen could do amongst themselves to aid their wingmen who may be struggling, Nobles said that in addition to bringing their issues to their community leaders who are there to serve them, Airmen should have those tough conversations and be there for one another.


“Some of us in this room may have better resources, be higher ranking or be more able to take care of our families, but there may also be some of us in this room or on this base who aren’t,” Nobles said. “There may be lots of Airmen, young in their careers or not, who may need assistance and the best thing you can do for them is show your support, point them to the right resources and lend a hand to them in whatever way you can.”


Nobles concluded the fireside chat by thanking Team McChord Airmen for all they do and for the opportunity to speak with them in celebration of Black History Month.


“I’d like to again say thank you all for your sacrifice,” Nobles said. “The time you spend away from home, friends, family and your service to our country is an extremely commendable thing, and it means a lot to me to be able to serve you all in my community.”