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Published on February 3rd, 2016 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Sumter Chambers honors US Army Central Soldier for volunteer service

Pictured: General Karmazin and Sgt. 1st Class James McMillan, Honoree

By Capt. John May, USARCENT Public Affairs

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. – A U.S. Army Central Soldier was the Army recipient of the Sumter Chamber of Commerce Military Citizen of the Year Award Saturday at the Chamber’s annual retreat at Hilton Head Island.

Sgt. 1st Class James McMillan, a native of Fayetteville, North Carolina, was presented the award by Cam Harvin, Sumter chamber member and sponsor of the award.

“Sergeant First Class James McMillan is a prime example of how to be a proud servant in the community,” said Harvin. After the floods he brought together several teams to assist people in repairing their homes.

“He has inspired many Servicemembers and people in the community and it is an honor to present him as the ARCENT recipient of the Sumter Chamber of Commerce Military Citizen of the Year Award,” Harvin said.

McMillan said he was humbled to have been nominated and hopes his receipt of the award can have a positive impact on others.

“I am humbled to have even been nominated,” said McMillan. “I am really honored and hopefully I can inspire others to donate some of their time to a good cause.”

McMillan volunteers in a variety of ways from his efforts after the flood to school mentorship. He said his favorite way to volunteer in the community is through physical activity, specifically through his running hobby.

McMillan dedicates a lot of his runs to a 12-year-old boy from Charlotte, N.C., with a digestive disorder. He corresponds with him four to five times a week and sees him approximately six times a year.

He meets up with him at local races and will spend time with him before and after the races. He has also spent time with the boy doing other things such as going to the Columbia Zoo.

“I did not realize how much I brighten his day and how much I mean to him until his mother sat me down and told me how much of a positive influence I was in his life and how much I was improving his behavior and attitude,” McMillan said.

McMillan also runs once a week with area youth at the Columbia YMCA indoor track and helps prepare them for upcoming youth races.

He volunteers through Team Red White and Blue (www.teamrwb.org), which connects veterans and active duty Servicemembers to their communities through fitness and social activities.

In September McMillan ran in the Marine Corps Half Marathon at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Through a group called Ainsley’s Angles he was paired with a wheelchair bound youth and ran the entire half marathon pushing her in a stroller and carrying the American Flag.

He also participated in the South Carolina Run for the Fallen in November 2015, running 18 miles of the 215 mile trail. The group he ran with read a biography and planted a flag every mile for a Soldier that has died in the War on Terror.

McMillan works in the USARCENT knowledge management section where he assists in streamlining the process for receiving and disseminating information to assist the commanding general with making decisions.

He has been assigned to USARCENT and a Sumter resident since August 2012.

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