Tamara"Tammy" Long-Archuleta, Captain Select USAF, was born on May 12, 1979 to Richard and Cindy Long of Belen, NM. She grew up at their family home in Adelino, NM along with her brother, Michael. She attended Belen Public Schools through 6th grade and was home schooled until attending college at UNM-Valencia County. She graduated Valedictorian with her associate's degree and entered the R.O.T.C. program at University of New Mexico main campus. She married Jovan Archuleta and had a child, Donaciano Prudencio Archuleta. Tammy graduated from college with her bachelor's degree in Political Science in July of 1999. She received her commission in the United States Air Force as a 2nd Lt. and was the first woman to receive her wings through UNM's ROTC program. After a short time in Alamogordo, she began flight training in Del Rio, Texas on small jets. From there, Tammy was assigned to helicopter school in Enterprise, Alabama. Tammy had been divorced from her husband and was raising her son while she completed training. She finished helicopter training on the Pave Hawk HH-60G Search and Rescue copter at Kirtland Air Force Base in September 2002 before being assigned to the 41st Expeditionary Rescue Squadron at Moody AFB in Valdosta, Georgia. While completing water and mountain survival training and her P.O.W. training, she met and became engaged to a wonderful man, 1st Lt. Richard Casey Moores, a C-130 Airplane pilot for the Air Force. Tammy and Casey were planning a June wedding at the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs, where he had graduated. At 23, Tammy was at one of the happiest points in her life while raising her son, piloting her combat rescue helicopter, and anticipating her marriage to Casey. All of this came to an end on Sunday, March 23, 2003 when her helicopter crashed into a mountain in Afghanistan. She was on a mission to evacuate wounded Afghan children. All six on board lost their lives. It is an indescribable tragedy for the Long and Moores family, as well as her close friends. Growing up in Belen, Tammy was an accomplished student, winning the Optimist Oratorical District contest for six years. She was an accomplished Girl Scout and swimmer. Other accomplishments include Karate Championships at the State, National, and World level as a third degree black belt and instructor at Belen Goju Ryu Karate School. Tammy was also a wonderful artist, sculptor, and author. In every activity and endeavor in her life she excelled, representing her self, family, community, and country in a manor that made anyone who knew her feel proud. She died the same way she lived.
With the permission of her family, our assisted living facility for homeless veterans will be named in honor of her service and sacrifice as the
Tamara Long-Archuleta Veterans Assisted Living Facility
It has been a difficult decision making process as there are many, many young men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the conduct of their duties each with equal valor, courage and dedication as the other.
By the way, we did not correct the spelling in this announcement as it is taken from her obituary found in her small town newspaper.