Tommy Fussell serves those who are serving. As an active duty Air Force Chaplain on Francis E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyo., Tommy builds relationships with Airmen and their families to provide support, resources and friendship during stressful daily situations, as well as deployments.
Tommy grew up in southeast Georgia in between two Army bases, so Army aircraft frequently flew low over his house. In fact, he learned to distinguish the type of helicopter and flight formation by their sound.
Ironically though, the military was not on his radar. Instead, after high school, he went to college and got involved with youth ministry. After seminary, he took a church in the South Georgia Conference of the UMC. His mentor, however, was an Air Force Reserve Chaplain whose love for his work was obvious. After much prayer and discernment, Tommy joined the reserves and later active duty.
“The thing I love most about it is the counseling,” Tommy said. “That was one of my focuses in seminary, and I still use it in the military.”
Although not your typical church with a steeple, the airbase is an industrial ministry setting. Just as a traditional pastor visits his or her parishioners, so Tommy builds relationships with those on base, from Airmen to Colonels to civilians.
To Tommy, it’s a compassion thing.
“I hate seeing people struggle unnecessarily, but from a pastor’s perspective, it’s a good time to be in a relationship to help others,” he said.