By Steffi Travis
When you first meet Unetta Moore, there is instant camaraderie. She possesses an infectious smile and humble, inviting demeanor. Her hearty laugh shows her keen sense of humor and ability to dissolve tension. She describes herself as a perceptive “people-person” who is happiest when helping others to thrive and reach their potential. She attributes this to being raised by her devout grandmother, Miss Johnnie.
“At an early age, I learned to get along with all types of people,” she says. “My mom died when I was eight years old, and I moved in with my grandmother, who lived in a diverse Puerto Rican neighborhood in Buffalo, New York. I was the only kid of color with American Indian heritage and a Baptist upbringing in an elementary school run by Catholic nuns.”
After graduating from Riverside High School (now Riverside School of Technology) in Buffalo, Moore earned an associates of arts and science degree from Erie Community College. As part of her work-study activities, she tutored in English and served as a financial aid student advisor.
In 2005, Moore joined the United States Navy and began to fulfill her dream of serving and defending her country. She is the recipient of four Navy and Marine Corps achievement medals presented for meritorious service. As a trained SEABEES heavy equipment operator, she transported cargo, people and supplies for important stateside and oversees missions. She’s skilled in operating buses, 18-wheelers and forklifts. The highlight of her Navy career was her post in the North Carolina/South Carolina Honor Guard, where for four years she provided funeral honors for fallen sailors and their families. Only persons who are highly motivated and maintain exceptionally high standards of appearance and conduct, and show aptitude for ceremonial duty, are selected as guards of honor. “The things I learned in the Navy, the values, honors and sense of duty, have stayed with me,” she says. “I firmly believe the military is the foundation for providing all Americans freedom.”
Always scouting for new beginnings, Moore retired with distinction from the Navy in 2013, and with no break in service, not even a day, she enlisted in the North Carolina Air National Guard, and continues to serve as a guardsman today. This is a natural extension of the core values of commitment to service and teamwork that guide her daily. “Freedom and democracy require ongoing effort. As a guardsman, I serve with people from diverse backgrounds from all over the globe to keep our nation safe and strong,” she says. On 9/12/18, Moore was called into active duty to tackle the challenges presented by Hurricane Florence.
One of Moore’s most challenging assignments was with N.C. Homeland Security, in which she searched for explosives in luggage and cargo at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. When that job was downgraded to part-time, she found work with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Columbia,. Despite the long-distance drive between Charlotte and Columbia six days a week, Unetta was honored to transport disabled military veterans to medical appointments, counseling sessions and even cancer treatments.
Recently, Moore joined the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services as a medical transport services specialist. As with the V.A. job, she transports DSS clients where they need to go. She has traveled more than a million miles in her transport duties.
In her spare time, Moore enjoys gardening and socializing with her two young adult sons and their friends. In May 2018, she put down roots in Charlotte and purchased a home through Community Link’s Homeownership Program, in which where she participated in first-time homebuyer education, counseling and financial services.