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NEWS | May 11, 2006

Local crew chief crowned Miss East Coast USA

By Staff Sgt. Thomas J. Doscher 1st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

When Airman 1st Class Tammi Golden heard her name called, she wasn’t sure she heard right. 

The 94th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief was packing up, tired and ready to go home April 2, sure she hadn’t won a single category, when her name was called.
Airman Golden was Miss East Coast USA Virginia. 

“I was in shock,” she said. “I had to look at my mom to make sure it was my name they had called.” 

For the 22 year old Exeter, N.H., native, it was a long road. Although this was her eighth beauty competition, the Miss East Coast USA Virginia was her first victory, beating out 40 other women. 

Airman Golden competed in four events: swimsuit, athletic wear, photogenic and evening gown. She said the swimsuit competition was her best event but was concerned about one of the other events. 

“It was pretty even across the board, but my worst event was photogenic,” she said. “It wasn’t the best picture. I’m not the most photogenic person in the world.” 

Despite her own misgivings, Airman Golden took the crown and will compete in the nationals this August in New Jersey. 

“I don’t like to think about it,” she said. “I have fun doing it, so either way just making it there was a big step for me.” 

Airman Golden’s coworkers at the 94th AMU were shocked to learn they had a beauty queen working on their aircraft. 

“You don’t expect a maintainer to be in a beauty pageant,” said Senior Airman Michael Franklin, 94th AMU crew chief. “I thought she’d do good, but I didn’t think she’d win.”
He said he was proven wrong. 

“I came in Monday morning and told everyone she won,” he said. “No one could believe it.” 

The possibility of an exercise that weekend almost scuttled the Airman’s hopes for competing, but she lucked out, she said. 

“I wouldn’t have done it if it had affected work at all,” she said. 

Although she kept her hopes secret for the first pageant, Airman Golden now finds herself with a large cheering section for the nationals. 

“Everybody’s rooting for her,” Airman Franklin said.