Shaw Air Force Base , S.C., March 6, 2017.- Across the Air Force, airmen of all ranks are encouraged to become leaders. As airmen become noncommissioned officers, they are charged with actively encouraging and motivating those around them to become involved in unit and base activities by leading the way.
The Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee recognized Air Force Staff Sgt. Angela Duff, 20th Logistics Readiness Squadron quality assurance evaluator, as the 2016 Military Citizen of the Year for her contributions to the on- and off-base communities surrounding Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, during a Feb. 14 ceremony.
During 55 hours of either working on a beautification project, caring for the homeless or organizing and supporting morale functions on base, Duff invited others to help her strengthen the bonds between the base and the local area.
“If my airmen are volunteering, I’m volunteering with them, or, if I have something going on, I’m bringing them with me,” Duff said. “It’s helping newer airmen learn the community, and getting them used to volunteering and helping out.”
But Duff said she doesn’t volunteer just to help the airmen around her. She does it because of how it makes her feel, she explained, and because she feels connected to those she helps.
Duff is a team player, said Air Force Maj. Rahsul Freeman, 20th LRS commander. She is never looking for the spotlight when she organizes these activities or volunteers, but acknowledges that personal time can sometimes be the best time to donate, Freeman added.
During her childhood, Duff’s family had no electricity or water at home for a couple years and struggled living a daily life without others knowing what was going on behind the scenes. She said she now uses these past difficulties to relate to those she helps.
People who would like to volunteer in the community should become involved in opportunities that mean something to them, Duff said. By volunteering to do things they have a passion to do, she added, volunteers are more likely to continue.