After a recent social media kerfuffle over one of my informational letters regarding illegal immigration, several Veterans expressed their desire for an interview and their own Signal Veterans Page. Angela was first and having been long time Facebook buddies we finally met for coffee at Valencia’s Corner Bakery to chat about her impressive military service. What fun we had getting to know each other and gossiping and chuckling about our mutual social media people.
Angela Marie Fatta was born April 7, 1969, at Queen of Angels Hospital in Covina, California, but her family lived in Hacienda Heights until she was 12 years old when they moved to La Verne. It’s noted that Angela was born while her father served with the 199th Light Infantry Brigade in Vietnam and it was one year later that she was introduced to her Dad. Angela attended Bonita High School and graduated June 19, 1987, and then she became a cadet with Arcadia’s Police Department. While a cadet, Angela also attended Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, California, for one year before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force via their delayed entry program. Since her Dad served on the El Monte Police Department she was drawn to law enforcement as well, thus she gravitated towards the military police. Angela admitted that she found the Air Force much more appealing than our other military branches since they did not demand whacking off female recruit’s hair.
Angela was also motivated to join the military as she believed it was necessary to experience using firearms prior to becoming a full blown police officer and it wasn’t long before she was training with a wide variety of weapons. Angela took eight weeks of Basic Training beginning December 1, 1988, at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas. She loved San Antonio’s famous River Walk and of course their historic Alamo. Following Basic Training, Angela was assigned to Technical School, a two month Security Specialist Course where she learned to fire an M16 assault rifle, M60 machine gun, M203 grenade launcher, and an M72 Light Anti-Armor Weapon (LAW). By this time, Angela was utterly pumped being a U.S. Air Force Airman.
Infantry Combat Training
Next, Angela was assigned to Fort Dix, New Jersey, for one month of Air Base Ground Combat Training; in short, it was infantry combat training. Angela said, “Firing powerful weapons was so much more fun than digging foxholes and enduring gas mask training, though throwing hand grenades and learning about claymore mines was very cool”. After Fort Dix, Angela was sent to March Air Base near Riverside, California, where she became a Security Police Officer. It was a proud day when her Mother Tari visited March Air Base and witnessed Angela receiving her police badge. Angela served her remaining Air Force four year commitment at March Air Base, though she and her unit deployed to Panama on “Operation Just Cause” for three months during Dictator Manuel Noriega’s drug smuggling, racketeering and money laundering days. While Angela served as an M60 machine gunner in Panama during 1989, Noriega was captured after U.S. forces invaded Panama which landed him in prison for seventeen years. While at Panama’s Howard Air Force Base, a huge U.S. military installation now closed, Angela was assigned to a crime suppression unit that focused on arresting numerous Panamanians who were burglarizing base facilities. Howard was an open base so her unit’s task was daunting but highly effective.
Drug Enforcement Team
After three months in Panama, Angela, now a Senior Airman, returned to March Air Base and partnered with Senior Airman Jefferson with a “Special Investigation Joint Drug Enforcement Team”. They coordinated with local civilian police personnel serving search warrants, conducting drug tests and seizing from numerous airmen and dealers weapons, cocaine, vehicles, and all types of asset forfeitures. Angela also received a four day seminar on drug recognition which led to her training other security personnel at March Air Base.
Due to Angela’s exemplary service she received her Honorable Discharge six months early on July 31, 1992, and she promptly returned to her parent’s home, but prior to departing the Air Force she applied with the Los Angeles Police Department. Following numerous interviews and tests Angela was accepted to the L.A. Police Academy on April 5, 1993, graduating in October that year. Needless to say, Angela’s Mom and Dad were bursting with pride. Angela’s first assignment was South Central in the notorious Nickerson Gardens area, which seems a misnomer as that’s where the Bounty Hunter Bloods gang formed.
Handsome Hotshot Officer
It was during 1996’s Christmas season that Angela was assigned to handle office paperwork and while doing so a handsome hotshot officer in a specialized unit sauntered in and spotted her. He simply could not keep from eyeballing Angela. He went out of his way needlessly using the copier machine just so he could ogle Angela and finally he got his nerve up and asked her out. But Angela declined as it was uncomfortable for her to date a fellow officer. Nevertheless, Officer Todd Fatta was persistent and it finally paid off when she accepted his invitation to a Christmas Party. At that party Angela said, “We fell head over heels for each other. It was a powerful feeling of instant love for both of us which endures to this day”.
Taking a Knee for Angela
Following that glorious, life changing Christmas Party, Angela and Todd dated for one year until one evening at the Cheesecake Factory Restaurant in Redondo Beach when Todd took a knee and proposed marriage while presenting her a gorgeous diamond ring. Their relationship was made in heaven. Angela replied emphatically, “Yes” and they were married with their families present in Laughlin, Nevada, on July 6, 1996. Angela and Todd bought their first home in Saugus and then moved to the Pacific Crest community in Santa Clarita. It wasn’t long before this loving couple produced two wonderful sons, Anthony and Vinnie. Angela was passionate about being a fulltime Mother so after eight years she retired from LAPD as Todd remains in law enforcement. The Fatta family attends Real Life Church and they love camping with their motor home. In closing, I wish to commend Angela on her fine military service and her excellent law enforcement service.