FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii - Sgt. 1st Class Daphne C. Thomas, the sexual harassment/assault response and prevention program manager for the 8th Theater Sustainment Command, was inducted into the prestigious Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, December 2011, at the Nehelanie club on Schofield Barracks.
To her, the SAMC means selflessness, mentoring and taking care of soldiers, giving back to the community, and leading by example.
"I wanted to become a member to be part of the best of the best," said Thomas. "I always want to lead by example and being a member enabled me to do just that. I want to help soldiers be a part of the SAMC. How can I tell one of my soldiers to go to the SAMC board if I don't even know what the club is all about and what the board is like?"
For Thomas, being an U.S. soldier is all she has dreamed about growing up in Haiti.
"I can remember it like it was yesterday," she said. "It was during Operation Uphold Democracy. I saw two women in full battle rattle and weapons. To me that was unbelievable, because in my country, women are raised to be wives and mothers. That day, when I saw these two females soldiers, I knew I wanted to be like them!"
Back then it was just a dream, a very unattainable goal, she said. But, in 1999, Thomas was granted a green card, came to the United States, and less than a year later, she had enlisted in the Army.
For her, the most memorable SAMC event she participated in was in November 2013 at the Exceptional Family Member Program Sport Day at Stoneman Field, on Schofield Barracks.
"I was so excited to help the children," she said. "I have two daughters myself and I know how hard it is to be an Army child. The look on their faces was priceless! They had such a great time going through the sporting events. Most importantly, a lot of SAMC members and soldiers came out and were so motivated to help. The event was a success!"
Her advice to soldiers thinking about joining the SAMC is understanding that it is a challenge, but the prize at the end is well worth the effort and sacrifice.
"You will learn so much during your journey, and I strongly believe you will become a better leader," she said. "The prize is the impact you can make in others lives, the community, and the Army once you become a member and stay active."
Note: This is an ongoing series designed to highlight the members of the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club - Hawaii, their accomplishments, and their feelings toward SAMC, the Army, and the community.