McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, W.Va. --
The Charlie West Spotlight for February is Hurricane, W.Va. native, Airman 1st Class Jerrica Meadows, a Non-Destructive Inspection Specialist assigned to the 130th Maintenance Squadron.
Meadow’s job entails the inspection of C-130H parts for the tiniest, unseen imperfections that could be detrimental and catastrophic to the mission. They utilize equipment such as ultrasound and x-ray machines and send the parts off to be repaired by other maintenance personnel if a flaw is detected.
“A1C Meadows is an excellent example of AF Core Values, specifically Excellence In All We Do,” said Chief Master Sgt. Matthew Colagrosso, 130th Maintenance Squadron Superintendent. “Upon her return from BMT and technical training, she enrolled and completed her 5-level course in three months.”
She is a 2015 graduate of Hurricane High School and spent some time at Marshall University before joining the unit in November of 2016. Even though she’s only been a member of the 130th for less than three years, it is safe to say Meadows is ready to grow her career in the military.
“I just want to advance my training to see how far I can go, and eventually commission as an officer,” explained Meadows. “And I really want to finish my degree and push as far as I can in my education.”
In the civilian life, she is a Junior Program Analyst for a government contractor that assists the Federal Bureau of Investigation with performing background checks.
Her hobbies include hiking, painting, playing the drums and playing the piano. She occasionally volunteers at underfunded schools in the area to assist school bands with their percussion ensembles. Previously, she volunteered to perform in various events throughout college.
Meadow’s drive is unquestionable. She takes pride in not giving up on her goals in life, and by doing that she became the first person in her family to make it to college in addition to being the first female in her family to join the military.
“I was always told I wasn’t going to be able to afford college,” she explained. “I was able to from the dedication and hard work that I put in with music. I received enough scholarships through the school of music, therefore opening the door to more possibilities.”
That drive also translated into the military life.
“I never thought I would be able to make it through training, even after I joined,” Meadows said. “I just never gave up and I’ve ended up way farther than I ever could have imagined two years ago.”
Meadows’ drive is fueled by not only a want to better herself, but a sense of pride as well.
“It really means a lot to me being in the military, I feel like my small tasks, even the smallest ones, make a positive difference in the unit and the force as a whole,” Meadows explained. “My favorite moment here was during student flight, watching the C-130s take off for the first time. It was when I realized how interesting and important being in the guard and working with aircraft can be.