WADS - Community Involvement

WADS Volunteers

As National Guardsmen, the Western Air Defense Sector’s citizen airmen prove to be good citizens through public and community service. Each year, WADS members devote hundreds of hours in support of local charities, including the Tacoma Rescue Mission, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, March of Dimes, Scout programs, Special Olympics – the list goes on and on. Over the years, several unit members have been recipients of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce and Tacoma Rotary Club’s Howard O. Smith Citizen-Soldier of the Year Award, honoring a National Guard or Reserve member who demonstrates a strong community service. Others have been recognized by the American Red Cross as well as other agencies, for their individual contributions. 

Supporting Each Other

WADS members also help their own by raising funds for unit members who have lost a home to fire, suffered a debilitating illness or been injured in an accident. The WADS Bigfoot Booster Club also raises funds to host a number of activities for unit members and their families throughout the year. Some of the booster club activities include supporting the unit’s annual awards banquet, summertime picnic and December holiday party as well as holding special events for the children of unit members.

Honor Guard

The WADS Honor Guard represents the Sector, the Washington Air National Guard, McChord Field and the United States Air Force by rendering military honors for funerals, retirements, banquets, memorials and much more throughout Western Washington and the entire Pacific Northwest. The Honor Guard is manned and sustained by volunteer members of the Western Air Defense Sector. For information about having the WADS Honor Guard attending an event, click here.

Special Events

The Western Air Defense Sector joins with North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in tracking Santa Claus’s route across the skies on Christmas Eve each year. This longstanding tradition has been going on for more than 50 years. For more specific information, go to the NORAD Santa Tracking website

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