Faith Presbyterian Church, 16000 N. Del Webb Blvd., hosts a free Fourth of July event 10 a.m. featuring a patriotic worship service with special guest Sandra Harris singing “The Star Spangled Banner,” “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America Medley.”
Harris is a chapel volunteer with Luke Air Force Base.
Having enlisted in the USAF in 1974, Harris secured a job in maintenance as a crew chief early in the era of the Air Force opening maintenance career fields to women.
“The best part of being a crew chief is that we had to learn, study and know our aircraft and how to repair it (as opposed to aircraft today with computer systems that tell you what’s wrong and what parts to change),” she stated. Aircraft she worked on included the F106 Delta Dart, F-4 C/D/E, A-7D, F-15, F-16 and the A-10 Thunderbolt, “the best aircraft the Air Force ever built.”
Harris retired in 2004 as Chief Master Sergeant (CMSgt retired), and some still call her “Chief.”
While in the Air Force, Harris traveled all over the United States and Europe but at every permanent change of station she has felt most at home in the base chapel singing for the Lord.
She has opened for “Tops in Blue” by singing the National Anthem. She has sung at numerous community patriotic and church events in the Valley, as well as for the Peoria Sports Complex, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Mercury and Phoenix Coyotes sporting events. She counts it as a blessing and privilege when she was asked to sing with the “Fabulous Phoenician” in the production of the “Life and Times of George Gershwin.”
The last 17 years, Harris has been as busy as she was while on active duty. “My job is a professional volunteer for the Luke Chapel,” she said. “I am the voice of the Chapel for several programs.”
Harris was selected for the Air Force 2018 Chaplain Corps Spirit of the Four Chaplains Award for her volunteer work in Luke Air Force Base chapel. Her husband, grown daughter-and-sons and three grandchildren are very proud of her.