For Immediate Distribution
NMFA Names 2006 Very Important Patriot Award Recipients
ALEXANDRIA, VA September 22, 2006 — Each year the National Military Family Association (NMFA) administers the Very Important Patriot (VIP) Program that recognizes exceptional volunteers worldwide whose outstanding service contributes to improving the quality of life in their military and/or civilian communities. Now in its 12th year recognizing the outstanding deeds of those who give their time, NMFA names the five Very Important Patriot Award, five Award of Honor, and five Award of Merit recipients. Any active duty, National Guard and Reserve, or retired service member of the seven uniformed services, their family members, and survivors are eligible to be nominated.
This year seven service members and nine family members from the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps will receive one of the three awards from NMFA. All recipients receive a cash prize and the VIP Award winners will also win a trip for two to Washington, DC to be honored at an awards dinner with the program sponsors and senior military leaders.
The recipients of the 2006 Very Important Patriot Award and a $1000 prize are:
- Robin Crouse, U. S. Air Force Spouse, Ft. Hood, TX - Robin Crouse’s volunteer activities range from fundraising activities that supplied children in her community with more that $10,000 of back to school supplies to renovating the Injured Soldiers Day Room at the Darnell Army Community Hospital to personal support for a family in need. Her contributions to the Fort Hood community are countless and constant.
- Lt Col Richard Moody, Retired U.S. Air Force and Christine Moody, Air Force Spouse, Danvers, MA - The Moody’s started Operation Troop Support in 2003 with the goal to support service members and their families. A military retiree and parents of service members themselves, the Moodys have raised thousands of dollars to send thousands of care packages and gifts to service members and families while creating a strong support network for military families of Massachusetts.
- Tonia Sargent, U.S. Marine Corps Spouse, Camp Pendleton, CA - This dedicated Marine Corps spouse has been a long time volunteer. After her husband sustained a serious injury in Iraq, Tonia dedicated her time to her husband’s recovery and a $1.5M fundraising project to build a Fisher House near the VA Hospital in Palo Alto, CA. Mrs. Sargent is now writing a book to help other military families of wounded service members navigate the health care system.
- MSgt Randy Schneider, U.S. Air Force Service Member, nominated from Keesler, AFB now stationed at Randolph, AFB - A long time youth program volunteer, MSgt Schneider has always been a role model and provider for youth programs in his community. When Schneider’s Biloxi, MS community was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, Schneider used his leadership skills to direct humanitarian relief efforts; raising money, donating his time, and coordinating rebuilding projects.
- Renee Stotz, U.S. Army Spouse, nominated from Ft. Lewis, WA now residing in Hohenfels, Germany - In addition to her full-time job, Renee is the glue that holds the Ft. Lewis, WA community together. Renee is an FRG leader and developed and maintained FRG websites for seven different Fort Lewis units. Additionally she played a lead role planning and executing several community events from homecomings to a large Spouses Conference.
The recipients of the 2006 Very Important Patriot Award of Honor and a $500 prize are:
- SSgt Brent Cobb, South Carolina Army National Guard
- Sharon Davenport, U.S. Army Spouse, Wiesbaden, Germany
- MAJ Doug Dillon, U.S. Army Reserve, Virginia
- SrA Fallon O’Brien Seldomridge, U.S. Air Force Service Member, Vandenberg, AFB
- Patricia (Patti) Walker, U.S. Army Spouse, Fort Riley, KS
The recipients of the 2006 Very Important Patriot Award of Merit and a $250 prize are:
- SPC Chelsey Beck, U.S. Army Service Member, Camp Eagle, South Korea
- Jacqueline Newman, U.S. Air Force Reserve Family Member, Niagara Falls, NY
- SrA Natalie Perez, U.S. Air Force Service Member, Cape Cod, MA
- Sendry Pittman, U.S. Army Family Member, Fort Eustis
- Felicia Villarreal, U.S. Army Spouse, Fort Hood, TX
NMFA is grateful to the generous program sponsors, all commissary suppliers: The Coca-Cola Company, Kellogg Company, Clorox Company, H.J. Heinz Company, and Tyson Foods for continuing to support this program over the years and for their commitment to the military community.
The National Military Family Association is the only national organization whose sole focus is the military family and whose goal is to influence the development and implementation of policies that will improve the lives of the families of the seven uniformed services: the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For more than 35 years, its staff and volunteers, comprised mostly of military family members, have built a reputation for being the leading experts on military family issues. Visit http://www.nmfa.org/ for more information.