By Ann Anasuya Rapisarda
Assistance League of San Antonio
On June 11, 2021, the Assistance League of San Antonio president, Pam Marsh and board members welcomed Captain Tammie Jo Shults to tour the newly renovated Thrift Store. Knowing that Captain Shults is a pioneering Navy Fighter Pilot and heroic commercial Airline Captain, Ms. Marsh was delighted to present Tammie Jo to her staff. Shults is a member of the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame and the International Air and Space Hall of Fame.
Pam also provided statistics and shared that Assistance League of San Antonio is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. She explained that sales from the Thrift House help provide assistance to all ages in the San Antonio Community. Jan Ramert (past president), presented to Tammie Jo the many quality bargain paintings and frames that she has proudly arranged, as Captain Shults fingered through the wide assortment. Bonny Johnston ( National Assistance League, Conference Administration Committee), highlighted the Operation School Bell® and Togs For Tots program areas where new children’s apparel is housed and prepared for distribution to Bexar County agencies working with those children and families touched by hardship. Carol Hodges (Speakers Bureau Chair), shared with Tammie Jo the other philanthropic programs that were developed and implemented to help provide assistance to families in need. Cherie Kassinger, (National Director Technology), well versed in all areas of Assistance League, also accompanied Tammie Jo on her Thrift Store tour answering Captain Schults questions.
Candid photos were taken by Janet Maloney (VP Marketing Communications) and caught Captain Shults by surprise as she was told that the Thrift House achieves its objectives with the help of all volunteers
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH A HERO
I (Ann Rapisarda Publicity Chair) had the privilege to sit down with Captain Tammie Jo Shults for a few questions and answers. I observed a tall slender lady. Her shoulder length brown hair framed a pretty face and contagious smile that seemed to mirror a happy spirit within.
PROUDEST MOMENT — When I asked Captain Shults to describe the proudest moment in her life she replied that it was when she held her adopted baby girl only 20 days old. Tammie Jo said, her name is Sydney, and she is now 23 years old with a baby of her own. My son Marshall is 21 years old, and he attended the Air Force Academy and holds his Private and Gliders Aviation License.”
MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSON — I thought I was asking a thought-provoking question when I questioned; who was the most influential person that got you where you are today? Without a hesitation Tammie Jo emphatically blurted “Christ!” Then she continued to say “He has been there throughout my career.”
Her Inspiration — One would never guess that behind her mild manor persona is a woman whose character would pave the way for change in Aviation History for all women.
With a history of determination Tammie Jo broke through a female barrier when she became one of the Navy’s first female F/A-18 Hornet Pilots. Captain Shults is also a former Southwest Airline pilot
SOUTHWEST FLIGHT 1380 — On April 17, 2018, on a routine flight from LaGuardia Airport; Captain Shults would call upon not only Christ but all the aviation training and leadership skills she possessed. About 20 minutes into the flight the Boeing 737 suffered catastrophic engine failure and depressurization. Captain Shults humbly reports that with the help of her crew, many passengers and the grace of God all 148 people survived. She told her passengers, “We are going to land in Philadelphia!”
Schultz took her final commercial flight in September 2020.
WHAT SHOULD I HAVE ASKED THAT OUR READERS WOULD LIKE TO KNOW?
Tammie Jo told me that she is on the Board of Angel Flight.
A name used by several groups whose members provide free air transportation for passengers (that are ambulatory) and in need of medical treatment far from home. They are a non-profit organization and perform other missions of community service.
Captain Shults is the author of “Nerves of Steel” and the Assistance League of San Antonio members are grateful for her unprecedented service.
We are pleased to inform our readers that Captain Tammie Jo Shults will be our Keynote Speaker for Assistance League National Conference this September 8th through 11th.
For more information about Assistance League of San Antonio please visit our web site www.Assistance League.org/San-Antonio or contact Pam Marsh @ (210)732-1200.