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Super Leader Speaks

Chief Master Sgt. Lorenzo Anastasie, command chief of the 116th Air Control Wing, sat down as he approached retirement to discuss his tenure and the lessons learned. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Roger Parsons)

Chief Master Sgt. Lorenzo Anastasie, command chief of the 116th Air Control Wing, sat down as he approached retirement to discuss his tenure and the lessons learned. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Roger Parsons)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Superman memorabilia decorates the office of a man who has spent three decades of his life in the U.S. Air Force. 

As a symbol of hope in the Great Depression in the 1930s, the man of steel is Chief Master Sgt. Lorenzo Anastasie's inspiration.

"It's about helping Airmen," said the 116th Air Control Wing chief who retired March 6. Although Airmen might come from different backgrounds, they're all expected to perform the mission.

"His love of people - his humanity - is both his greatest strength and his greatest weakness," Anastasie said of Superman.

His father, retired Master Sgt. Arsene Anastasie, was an Army drill sergeant who earned the Army Achievement Medal, a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. The chief has carried on his father's legacy.

During his 15 years at Robins and his 15 years prior, Anastasie has mentored Airmen, encouraging them to do their best.

According to his Air Force biography, he has participated in operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, Odyssey Dawn and New Dawn. He has earned 28 major awards and decorations.

"He truly embraces service before self," said his ex-wife Fatimah Schareef. Anastasie has five children, Schiavonne Saunders, Kellie Carter, Kai Malik, Saif Malik and Lailah Malik.

Some of his fondest memories have been lending a hand to those who have struggled. He has run around the track to help someone with their physical training test. He has talked to widows who have lost their spouses.

"At the end of the day, both personally and professionally, if we would think of others more than ourselves, the world would be a better place," Anastasie said.

Sometimes, he said, people just need to know that someone cares about them.

"In a tough military world, we forget they're human," Anastasie said.

He signed up for the Air Force in 1985 after suffering an injury while playing football at Troy University. He thought the military was the best place to become a man.

"Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would achieve this much," Anastasie said.

Although he has traveled to places such as the Azores, Australia, the Middle East and around the U.S. as a military member, he said part of personal growth is looking back to see how far one has come. "I have truly lived a life," said Anastasie.