To USO of North Carolina Triangle Area volunteer, Denise Williams, volunteering is a way to honor those who have served and sacrificed.
Williams, the mother of an active duty Airman, works a regular shift at the USO of North Carolina RDU Center, located within the Raleigh Durham International Airport, two Sundays monthly, serves on the Triangle Area Honors Support Team, helps set up the Salute to Freedom Gala each year and offers her support to additional outside USO of NC events.
“I love it. It’s one of the best things that I’ve ever done in my life,” said Williams.
Williams’ son has served on active duty for 20 years and is soon to retire. Throughout those years, she’s said goodbye often and worried about him while he was away. That experience is one of her biggest motivations for volunteering – she wants other Blue Star Mothers to know that someone is taking care of their service member.
“I tell the kids coming to the center… I consider them all my babies, ‘you be sure to tell your momma that there was a momma here taking care of you,” said Williams.
Since January of 2007, Denise Williams has offered her unwavering support to those who serve. Even while managing a work schedule as an executive assistant at the North Carolina Division of Employment Security, she remains committed to volunteering. But to Williams, volunteering is more than just a way to lend a helping hand to those who serve, but also a way to honor those who have given all.
During her very first shift as a volunteer, Williams supported a family as their fallen service member returned home for the last time at the airport. Now, as a member of the USO of NC Honors Support Team, she offers comfort and a helping hand regularly to the families of the fallen.
“I wish that more people were aware of that side of it,” said Williams. “They (service members) may come back with some type of injury, visible and not so visible. I wish that more people understood that somebody is standing up for you and has sacrificed their life or a portion of their life so you can continue to move throughout your day.”
Williams is one of more than 1,000 volunteers that humbly and generously donate their time to the USO of North Carolina.
“I was a little surprised that I was recommended for this. I just go in and do it with no expectation of recognition. I like to just show up and give what I can for that shift.”
Learn more about volunteering with the USO of North Carolina by clicking here.
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