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DoD salutes Pease Family Readiness Program, others

Bonnie Rice (center) accepts on behalf of the 157th Air Refueling Wing Airman and Family Readiness Program a plaque for the 2014 Reserve Family Readiness Awards from Richard O. Wightman Jr., principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs, during a ceremony at the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes, Feb. 27. DOD honored the top unit in each reserve component for its outstanding programs that support unit missions and family readiness. (DoD photo by Steve Turner, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Reserve Affairs)

Bonnie Rice (center) accepts on behalf of the 157th Air Refueling Wing Airman and Family Readiness Program a plaque for the 2014 Reserve Family Readiness Awards from Richard O. Wightman Jr., principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs, during a ceremony at the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes, Feb. 27. DOD honored the top unit in each reserve component for its outstanding programs that support unit missions and family readiness. (DoD photo by Steve Turner, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Reserve Affairs)

WASHINGTON -- The war on terrorism that began with the 9/11 attacks has meant that unprecedented numbers of reserve troops have been called to active duty. On Feb. 27, the Department of Defense, as it has done for the past 15 years, honored the top unit in each reserve component for its outstanding programs that support unit missions and family readiness.

Richard O. Wightman Jr., principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs, hosted the Pentagon's Reserve Family Readiness Awards. He expressed the department's gratitude for family readiness support programs around the country that allow soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen and guardsmen to serve around the world without having to worry about the challenges of life on the home front.

'Unsung Heroes'

"To these unsung heroes, we owe much," Wightman said. "They have given their time, freely, without any guarantees of accolades or reimbursements, yet they sacrifice their evenings, weekends, and time with family in the selfless service of others."

Representatives of the seven reserve components accepted the award, co-sponsored by the Military Officers Association of America.

The units recognized this year for outstanding efforts to build support networks for Guard and reserve families are:

-- The Air National Guard's 157th Air Refueling Wing, Pease, Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire; T

-- The Army National Guard's 1742nd Transportation Company, Sioux Falls, South Dakota;

-- The Army Reserve's 75th Legal Operations Detachment, Mountain View, California;

-- The Marine Corps Reserve's 4th Combat Engineer Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Baltimore;

-- The Navy Reserve's Navy Operation Support Center Charleston, North Charleston, South Carolina;

-- The Air Force Reserve's 934th Airlift Wing, Minneapolis; and

-- The Coast Guard Reserve's Port Security Unit 312, San Francisco.

Family Support Programs Making 'Huge Difference'

Retired Navy Vice Adm. Norbert R. Ryan Jr., president and CEO of the Military Officers Association of America, today credited family readiness programs with making a huge difference in the lives of those deployed far from home.

"Service members are able to focus on their duties armed with the knowledge that a support structure back home will help care for their families," he said.

The MOAA donates $1,000 to each of the seven honoree units' family programs.
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