Getting to Know ... Tanya Biank

Getting to Know ... Tanya Biank

<bt>Tanya Biank is a freelance journalist who has written a book about Army wives. She is active in two groups that give back to the community. She is this week’s People Profile.

Number of years in the community. I'm a short-timer here. My husband is in the Army and we just moved to Kingstowne from Fort Bragg, N.C. in August 2005. My father was also in the Army and at that time we lived in Reston while I was in high school. I’m a graduate of Herndon High School.

Family: My husband, Michael, and I have been married for a year and a half.

Education: I graduated from Penn State with a B.A. in journalism and a minor in English.

Current job/primary occupation? I am a freelance journalist. My first book, "Under the Sabers: The Unwritten Code of Army Wives" (St. Martin’s Press) will be published in February. It's a non-fiction narrative and is a behind-the-scenes look at military life.

Achievements: I spent a year in Korea as a Fulbright Scholar. I lived with a Korean family, studied Korean and taught English at a girls' high school. To this day I maintain a special place in my heart for the Korean people. I'm thrilled so many live in the area! Writing a book and getting published is an enormous honor. I've appeared on national television and radio programs talking about military issues. It is a privilege to tell the story of our service members and their families.

Activities/interests/hobbies? I am active in two local groups that give back to the community: The Belvoir Officers' Wives Club and the Northern Virginia Chapter of Daughters of the United States Army. I also enjoy antique shopping in my free time.

Favorite local restaurant or place in the community? My husband and I enjoying trying new sushi restaurants in the local area on weekends.

What are your community concerns? What are some ideas you have on ways to improve your community? My biggest concern is the increase of gang violence. You hear so much about gang violence. I don't feel safe going to some of the local shopping malls alone. One way to address the problem is to get more residents to take an active role in pushing local government to take action.

What community "hidden treasure" do you think more people should know about? Rediscover your local library! The Fairfax County library system is top-notch and provides a wonderful public service through its book collections and programs designed for all ages and interests. I think too many people take it for granted.

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you "grew up?" With the exception of wanting to be a movie star when I was 5, I've always wanted to be a writer. Reading and writing were always enjoyable and fun subjects for me in school.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself becoming a mother and continuing to write professionally.

Personal goals? I'd like to continue writing and publishing books. I'd love to write a bestseller!