Barre native named Military Citizen of the Year
Article courtesy of 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs
JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, VA. – For the past four years, while assigned to the 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, Tech. Sgt. Elizabeth Marat has faithfully served her country, but also dedicated her time in the local area as a volunteer. Marat worked countless hours performing special services and charitable deeds in the community.
As a result of her commitment to community service and volunteerism, she was awarded the Military Citizen of the Year Award by the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce during a ceremony Nov. 12 at the Crowne Plaza Hampton-Marina Hotel in Hampton.
“I am honored to be chosen as the Military Citizen of the Year,” said Marat. “This came as a surprise to me as this year’s Air Force selectee. I did not know I was chosen until someone sent a congratulations note in an e-mail. I just feel that I am doing my part in the community.”
Each year, the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce names one outstanding and deserving representative from each branch of the military. Marat is the daughter of Larry and Susan Gaylard of Barre.
“This award for Liz is well deserved,” said Senior Master Sgt. Angelo Washington, Superintendent of Materiel Management for the wing and Marat’s supervisor. “She continuously supports the local community and always carries a smile wherever she goes and in whatever she does.”
“She is a role model and truly a positive example on base and in the local community,” he added. “No one is more deserving than she is, and I’m happy for her and the Air Force.”
The military community has a long and proud tradition of volunteer service. Since 1955, the Samuel T. Northern Military Citizen of the Year Awardis given annually to recognize the military citizen who has made the most significant contribution in the area of community service.
Marat has volunteered for a myriad of activities and special events both on and off base.
“I believe that volunteering your time is very important,” she said. “But, I also think you should volunteer for something you enjoy doing.”
Marat said she hopes her effortswill set an examplethroughout the wing.
“If it’s just an hour of your time over your lunch break, to go over to a school and read to children, assist with Meals-on-Wheels or other community-related activities, your volunteering can positively affect an individual’s life,” she said.
According to Marat, it’s all about changing lives and inspiring people in need, but most importantly, leading by example and encouraging others to volunteer.
“Whether it’s at a school tutoring in math and reading or donating your hair to Locks of Love, anybody can volunteer.”
Marat’s division chief expressed amazement at her ability to balance it all.
“Along with her daily primary and additional duties supporting our global organization, coupled with the huge demand of a large family, she still volunteers numerous hours to the community,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Reiz, Chief of ISR Systems. “She is truly an Air Force Ambassador and deserving of this award!”