Hometown Hero puts variety of skills to use

By Amanda Porterfield | aporterfield@wcia.com

Published 07/04 2014 04:06PM

Updated 07/08 2014 11:42AM

URBANA -- He served our country and, after the military, has made his life about public service, but this Hometown Hero is trying his luck at a new craft.

Lance Liggett knows a lot about balance. After all, he's only halfway through a six year term in the Air Guard and works six jobs. Liggett is living life as a construction worker, volunteer firefighter and high school coach.

"I always enjoy giving back to the community and helping people out," said Liggett. "I figured it was a way for me to do my duty and do my service to give back and follow in the footsteps of people who have done it before."

And by chance, as he was looking for another job, he stumbled upon an acting gig.

"When I typed that in the search box 'Chicago Fire extras' came up," said Liggett. "So I was like,'Why not? Let's click on it see what it is.' I clicked on it and underneath the headings it said, 'We're looking for firefighters to do extra roles on the TV show Chicago Fire, NBC.' I was in the first episode of this season; season two, in the fire academy. Then another episode I was the chauffeur for the commissioner of Chicago Fire in the TV show."

As with most military men or firefighters Liggett likes being behind the scenes. He says seeing himself on TV is a little weird.

"It's kind of cool, in also now being extra I start to look at the other people, because I know everybody in the background. Most of the firefighters in the background are real firefighters," explained Liggett.

"They like to call me 'Hollywood' at the fire station because I'm always on TV and we have a thing at the fire station: every time you're on TV, you have to buy ice cream for everybody on the department so I owe a lot of ice cream," said Liggett.

But no matter how far Hollywood takes him Liggett says he'll always give back to his community.

"I enjoy what I do, and I think everybody should give back in some way, somehow. It doesn't have to be firefighting, doesn't have to be in the military, but I believe everybody has a calling, everybody has a purpose and reason for what they do to help somebody and just make them a better person or make them happy," said Liggett. "I feel that's my duty being here on earth so I definitely wouldn't call it being a hero, I'd just call it giving back."

Liggett says one skill he needs in both the military and firefighting is communication. He says it's helped him in all aspects of life.

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