News: Family Readiness volunteers awarded for going ‘above and beyond’
Story by Capt. Jennifer Bocanegra
FORT BRAGG, N.C. – The 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) Command team recognized 29 volunteers and two organizations, April 26, for their outstanding support of the Group’s Family Readiness program during the past year.
Representatives and family members from each battalion came out to support the award presentation which included a buffet dinner and cake.
During his opening remarks Col. Mark Schwartz, 3rd SFG (A) Commander, thanked those who supported the Family Readiness program and noted the large role they play in taking care of families, especially during deployments.
“Without people stepping up, others wouldn’t participate, so it’s really about leadership,” he said.
Those who volunteer to support the Family Readiness program are recognized by their battalion leadership; however, this event was designed to honor select volunteers with the Commander’s Award for Public Service. Those who received awards were nominated by their battalion because of their hard work and dedication to supporting soldiers and their families from 3rd SFG (A).
“Tonight is about those few who go above and beyond, are at every function and continue to give support. They do a lot of wonderful things for 3rd SFG (A). This is 3rd SFG (A)’s opportunity to give back to them,” said Ms. Angela Shelton, Family Readiness Support Assistant, 3rd SFG (A).
Patti Minietta, spouse of Chaplain (Capt.) Brian Minietta, was one of the volunteers who received recognition. Minietta said she normally assists her husband with hosting retreats for married and single members of his husband’s battalion. During her husband’s recent deployment, she led classes on relationship enhancement and marital enrichment for spouses. She also volunteered for family events hosted by the Group.
“We do this no matter what. Especially with all of the deployments, it’s really nice to recognize the spouses,” she said.
Each award recipient received a Commander’s Award for Public Service from the Group Command team along with a 3rd SFG (A) pin and embroidered gym bag.
The Commander’s Award for Public Service is the fourth highest public service honorary award that may be granted to a private citizen. The award is given to recognize service or achievements that contribute significantly to the unit’s mission.