Veteran Story: Dennis Tusi

My name is Dennis Tusi and I am a Budget Analyst at Fire Island National Seashore. I am a veteran of the United States Air Force, joining in December, 1968 as an Airman and retiring in Oct 1994 as a Captain.

I spent most of my time overseas in countries like Turkey, Germany, Guam (U.S. position), Korea, and Hawaii as well as being stationed in Massachusetts, Texas, California, Oklahoma, and Washington DC. I have accumulated the Meritorious Service Medal with V, Outstanding Unit Medal with 3 clusters, National Defense Service Medal, and the Air Force Overseas Medal in support of Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield among others.

I am originally from Oakland California and joined the Air Force to see the world, and to get out of a high school test. I remember having to make my way through a large crowd of protesters to get to the Oakland Induction Center. Once in the Air Force I worked in Finance paying military and civilian employees their pay and travel benefits for ten years while working on a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and becoming a 90-day wonder at Officers Training School in Texas.

From that time on I was a Budget Officer and Finance Officer. I supervised three finance accounts totaling over $100 million for the Department of Defense and became a Squadron Commander and Comptroller at various bases.

While on active duty I was privileged to serve in Izmir, Turkey during the troubles between Turkey and Greece supporting NATO. In Guam I assisted the 10th Air Force developing evacuation plans and rebuilding of local villages after typhoons. In Korea, I stood in the village of Panmunjom on both the South and North Korean sides observing cities no one lived in and the camp that Americans man as a first defense. In Hawaii, while at Hickam Air Force Base, I was privileged to service financially the evacuees from the Mt. Pinatubo explosions, and the deposed Government of the Republic of the Philippines. I also paid tribute to those who gave their lives at Pearl Harbor. I was in Germany when the Berlin wall came down and saw first-hand how Eastern Europe really looked before prosperity and reunification. While in these and other countries I was able to travel and see many sites, battlefields, and cemeteries.

I was also privileged to fly to Bangladesh after a typhoon to assist in the emergency and rebuilding efforts of that country along with other military personnel, myself, two guards and a safe full of money for rebuilding.

My family accompanied me on most of the assignments developing and speaking various languages. One daughter, Heather, whom I am very proud of, joined the Air Force and spent her time in Afghanistan as a medic tending both U.S. soldiers and enemy combatants and finally becoming a Registered Nurse.

I joined the National Park Service in July, 2006 and found my position as Budget Analyst at Fire Island National Seashore through USAJOBS. I believe my experience in the military and traveling have helped me see the visitors to the park in a broader context. I think everyone should visit Fire Island National Seashore and the William Floyd Estate. There are beautiful wide beaches, the historic Fire Island Lighthouse, and the home of one of the four New York signers of the Declaration of Independence. There is truly something for all.

Last updated: November 10, 2017