Arizona Department of Veterans Services Director Col. Wanda Wright is the featured presenter at the Fountain Hills Cares program on Thursday, Oct. 20, at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Center. The free Fountain Hills Cares program is designed to share information on topics important to the community of Fountain Hills.
The Cares event on Oct. 20 will offer resource information for veterans and their families. In addition to Col. Wright, the V.A. Hospital will have tables with representatives to provide information on eligibility, social services, caregiver support, veteran benefits, and cemetery benefits.
Col. Wright is the third generation of her family to serve in the U.S. military. She has three decades of military experience. As a 1985 United States Air Force Academy graduate, Col. Wright began her military career as Deputy Budget Officer with the Tactical Air Command at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with a follow-on assignment to Davis-Monthan A.F.B. as the Budget Officer.
Leaving active duty in 1990, Col. Wright joined the Arizona National Guard. During the next 21 years, she served in various positions, including accounting and finance, communications, executive, and, finally, as the Director of Staff for the Adjutant General in Phoenix. Among her proudest achievements was serving as Air Commander of Operation Jump Start from June 2006 to December 2008. She commanded over 4,000 airmen from 52 states and territories on our Southwest border.
Col. Wright holds a B.S. in Management from the U.S. Air Force Academy, an M.B.A. from Webster University in South Carolina, an M.P.A. from the University of Arizona, and an M.A. in Educational Leadership from Arizona State University.
Col. Wright’s military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, and the Air Force Commendation Medal.
In 2018, Col. Wright was appointed to the V.A.’s Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, a national expert panel that advises the secretary on issues and programs impacting women veterans.
Fountain Hills Cares is a free event. Light refreshments will be available.