HomeNewsArticle Display

We are just like you

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ashley Grugin, 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron unit fitness program manager, discusses her passion for cooking at her residence in Sumter, S.C., Dec. 16, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ashley Grugin, 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron unit fitness program manager, discusses her passion for cooking at her residence in Sumter, S.C., Dec. 16, 2018. Grugin plans on separating from the military in 2019 to attend culinary school and pursue a career as a chef. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Maldonado)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ashley Grugin, 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron unit fitness program manager, prepares a meal at her residence in Sumter, S.C., Dec. 16, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ashley Grugin, 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron unit fitness program manager, prepares a meal at her residence in Sumter, S.C., Dec. 16, 2018. Grugin stated she has always had an interest in cooking and plans to pursue it as a career after separating from the military. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Maldonado)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Noah Rachau, 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, draws an arrow at his residence in Sumter, S.C., Dec. 22, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Noah Rachau, 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, draws an arrow at his residence in Sumter, S.C., Dec. 22, 2018. Archery is one of many hobbies Rachau has; others include reading, golf and umpiring. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Maldonado)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Noah Rachau, 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, lays down to take a photo at his residence in Sumter, S.C., Dec. 22, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Noah Rachau, 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, lays down to take a photo at his residence in Sumter, S.C., Dec. 22, 2018. Rachau has many interests, to include cooking, hunting and fishing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Maldonado)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Kymes, 20th Contracting Squadron contracting officer, prepares for a road trip on his motorcycle at his residence in Sumter, S.C., Dec. 22, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Kymes, 20th Contracting Squadron contracting officer, prepares for a road trip on his motorcycle at his residence in Sumter, S.C., Dec. 22, 2018. Kymes and his brother take long trips together and camp along their journeys. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Maldonado)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Kymes, 20th Contracting Squadron contracting officer, sits on his motorcycle at his residence in Sumter, S.C., Dec. 22, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Kymes, 20th Contracting Squadron contracting officer, sits on his motorcycle at his residence in Sumter, S.C., Dec. 22, 2018. Kymes’ love of motorcycles and road trips stems from his father’s motorcycle and passion to ride. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Maldonado)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Rigid structure, aircraft and guns. These are some examples of what many people may think of when they hear about the military.

Many forget that outside the uniform, military members are regular people, too. Just like everyone else, they have fears, hobbies and family.

“I guess we are kind of seen in a certain light, but we are just regular people for the most part; just going to work, doing our job and going back home,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Kymes, 20th Contracting Squadron contracting officer. “We’re not superheroes.”

Many service members share the same hobbies as many civilians, such as cooking, photography, fishing and more.

Kymes states he is a motorcycle enthusiast, recently buying a new motorcycle as a deployment gift to himself. He and his brother take long trips together and camp along their journeys.

Those who see military members doing the same hobbies they do may never even know they don a uniform and serve the nation.

“Before joining the military, I always thought military members had a lot of courage, and I didn’t realize how much work they did to just get the job that they have now,” said Airman 1st Class Noah Rachau, 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief. “I had eight months of schooling, including basic training, before my job even started. It’s a lot of work, sacrifice and time away from your family.”

Rachau went on to say he did not realize how much everybody relies on each other in the military before he joined.

“Well, depending on where you work, especially my field, we rely a lot on other backshops,” Rachau said. “It’s one giant family where everybody is trying to accomplish the same thing, working towards one goal, and it's pretty nice.”