The first female general officer in the history of the Delaware National Guard, Timmons is one of four Hometown Heroes who will be honored March 6 at the Middletown Area Chamber of Commerce’s Sixth-Annual Meet the Pros and Taste of MOT Spring Expo, along with volunteer organizer Carla Briccotto, business owner Dean Hatton and Townsend Fire Company firefighter Brian Eide.
Q What’s it like to be named a Hometown Hero by the Middletown Area Chamber of Commerce?
A It’s a great honor. When I found out about it, I was floored. I think it’s really a great thing the chamber is doing for the community and for the Delaware National Guard because we are the community.
Q As an assistant adjutant general you’re basically in charge of everything with wings in the Delaware Air National Guard. What’s that job like?
A It requires a lot of planning and budgeting to provide aircraft that are ready to fly and crews that are ready to deploy in support of national missions and state emergencies. But it’s great to be able to serve your country while also serving your local community.
Q You’ve broken new ground for women throughout your military career, earning you a place in the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame, as well as induction into the Delaware Aviation Hall of Fame. What’s it like to be a role model to girls?
A I think it’s critical to have examples of diversity at all levels, but for a while I was uncomfortable with being in the spotlight all the time. Breaking into an all-male environment is daunting and everyone is watching you, so if you do make a mistake, it gets magnified. But now, I feel it’s really important to get out and talk to young women to show them that with hard work and dedication, they can also become a colonel or general. I love talking to young airmen and telling them how I sat where they are now and got where I am today by trying to be the best I could be at that particular moment.
Q What advice do you have for other people who would like to make a difference in their community?
A Find something you’re truly passionate about because you should really enjoy it if you’re going to spend a lot of time doing it. It’s also important to try and find a good balance in your life. None of us get paid so well that we should neglect our home life. Otherwise, you’ll end up with an unhappy spouse or unhappy child, and that will ultimately make you unhappy, which then creeps into the other part of your life.