Volunteers dedicate decade of service to Team MacDill

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jenay Randolph
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
Anyone who enters the Airman’s Attic at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, is immediately greeted with cookies and a smile by the managers, Angelo and Carmen Pizzi. Because of their selfless efforts, the Airman’s Attic is a home away from home for Airmen and their families.

A native of Cranston, Rhode Island, Angelo enlisted into the Air Force National Guard as a vehicle maintenance technician immediately following his high school graduation in 1961.

It wasn’t until after being activated and serving a year in Germany, that Angelo returned to Rhode Island and met his wife, Carmen, who was pursuing her a cosmetology license.

“We met through a mutual friend and dated for a few years,” said Angelo in a moment of reflection. “In 1965, we married and started building our family. By 1970, we had three children together; two boys and a girl.”

In 2002, Angelo and Carmen moved to Florida in search of better medical treatment. They became part of local social groups and began making friends as they settled in St. Petersburg, Florida.

“We began volunteering at the Airman’s Attic on MacDill through a friend who was the manager at the time. We always wanted to give back to the men and women fighting for our country,” said Angelo. “Then around 2004, our friend was battling with her own medical issues and asked me to take over and we have been here ever since.”

After serving 38 years in the Air Force National Guard, the Airman’s Attic provided Angelo a way to stay connected with his military family and give back.

Over the years, the Pizzi’s dedicated their time to making the Airman’s Attic a welcoming environment while also giving back through donations to service members on MacDill. All this is done with no budget and strictly on a voluntary basis.

The Rhode Island natives spend three days a week, to include weekends and holidays, prepping and organizing the attic to be ready for customers on Tuesdays and Fridays. They started with few resources, but with the help of volunteers they improved the attic by organizing the surplus of donations.

The couple travels 45 minutes from Madeira Beach, Florida, just to volunteer. When not volunteering at the attic, the couple spends time resting and socializing at different clubs.

“It is very rewarding to see the children’s faces light up when they walk through the door and to help the younger military members stretch their dollars,” said Carmen. “We continue to do this for them and keep a good rapport between the base and local community.”

For Carmen and Angelo, it is more than just the Airman’s Attic, it’s a part of their lives; a home away from home.

“The more I do, this the more I realize how much the men and women of MacDill love it. They have become like our children,” said Carmen. “I have been volunteering all my life and there is no greater joy than seeing the people come in and enjoy their experience here at the attic. It makes it all worth it.”