D’Angelo Shaw, a local veteran and General Manager of Statesboro’s Planet Fitness location, attributes the company and its leaders for empowering him to lead others and remain diligent in living healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally, after returning home from service.

D’Angelo Shaw, originally from Monroe, Louisiana, served in the United States Army in multiple fields, from Combat Arms to Aviation to Support Operations. His 12 brave years of service to our country left an everlasting imprint on his life.

Shaw had many reflective moments while serving, such as being a NCOIC of FARP operations while in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and landing the first Japanese aircraft in 2016 on United States soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Also, becoming a United States Paratrooper and leading other paratroopers into Afghanistan as a Platoon Sergeant.  

D’Angelo Shaw was Homeless after retirement

After being medically retired in 2017, Shaw found himself testing his strengths in different lines of work like logistics and lumber. Ultimately was left fighting a different kind of war – one with himself – battling depression and anxiety. Shaw lacked the motivation or passion to do anything outside of the service. These feelings of displacement drove him to isolate away from family and friends.

Shaw pictured with dark cap meeting with soldiers Credit: Planet Fitness

Shaw became homeless in 2019 after leaving his job at a Savannah lumber mill. He desperately needed an outlet to combat his depression, so he joined a local Planet Fitness. It was there that he began his journey back working out three times a day, seven days a week. He caught the interest of the General Manager, James Durby, who noticed his discipline and offered him a job. Durby quickly became a mentor for Shaw, supporting his interest in going back to finish school.

College Graduate and Planet Fitness Manager

One short year later, Shaw graduated from South University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Throughout 2020, Shaw worked up the ranks at Planet Fitness and was given a General Manager position at a club in Rincon, GA. Now is is the manager of his second Planet Fitness in Statesboro.

D’Angelo Shaw, General Manager, Planet Fitness Statesboro Credit: Planet Fitness

Shaw credits the staff that he connected with early on in to helping tremendously in his adjustment to life after service. “Planet Fitness gave me a second chance in life by not only giving me employment, but another chance to lead – this time with like-minded employees and help them become leaders in the future.”

Shaw is currently pursuing a master’s degree in business administration through Capella University.