For Immediate Release

Contact: Bailey Bernius

National Military Family Association Names 2011 Families of the Year

Grand Prize Winner Announced this July in Washington, DC

June 16, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, VA July 5, 2011— The National Military Family Association is pleased to announce the seven 2011 Families of the Year. One of these outstanding Uniformed Services families will be named the National Military Family Association’s 2011 Family of the Year at an Association event this summer. The Association’s Family Award Program recognizes strong military families who embrace their service to the Nation, are role models in their community, and understand that together they are stronger. We received nominations from active duty, reserve component, retiree, and surviving families of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

Army Family of the Year

The Broesch Family, Hayden, ID
The Broesch family illustrates the power of perseverance, service, and personal strength.  After a recent deployment, SPC Jerry Broesch returned home as a wounded warrior. With wife Kim, and daughters Taylor and Isabella, the Broesches work tirelessly to provide assistance to the greater military community through Operation: Military Kids, the Army National Guard Military Youth Program, and by finding ways to help local families with deployed service members.

Navy Family of the Year

The Hatzung Family, Naval Air Station, Point Mugu, CA
AS1 Scott and Jenelle Hatzung are a fine example of a young Navy family continually striving to make a difference in their local and military communities.  Scott actively volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and with area schools, where he helped to start a reading program between his Command and Laguna Vista Elementary School. Jenelle, who also grew up in the military, started the Naval Base Ventura County Enlisted Spouses’ Club, volunteers with Operation Homefront, and numerous military spouse appreciation events. The family currently resides in California with their dog, Khloe.  

Marine Corps Family of the Year

The Rucker Family, Dallas, GA
The Rucker family represents commitment, duty, and service. As a retired dual military family, SSgt (Ret) Ronald Rucker and SSgt (Ret) Susan Rucker served 17 and 24 years in the Marine Corps, respectively. Their two adult sons, Ryan and William, currently serve in the Air Force. The Ruckers have opened their home to 45 foster children, participate in their church through outreach as ordained ministers, and went to Alabama to aid those affected by the recent natural disasters in the area. They currently reside in Dallas, Georgia with their daughter, Gabriella.

Air Force Family of the Year

The Arnold Family, Dyess AFB, Abilene, TX
After moving nine times in 19 years, and experiencing four deployments in six years, the Arnold family is currently stationed at Dyess Air Force Base.  Maj. Eric Arnold and his wife Cristie embody commitment to service in their community through extensive work at the base thrift shop, athletic programs, and other base service projects. Children Conner, Cierra, and Christian give back by providing lawn mowing and daycare for spouses of deployed service members, in addition to volunteering support for Habitat for Humanity, March of Dimes, and Scouting activities.

Coast Guard Family of the Year

The Henley Family, Sitka Maple Base, Sitka, AK
The Henley family stands out as a family willing to take risks and embrace challenges, while seeking personal growth and development, all while serving the Coast Guard and the United States. MK1 Javon Henley and wife Keysha are positive and charismatic leaders in their community, contributing to civic organizations, tutoring, and participating on the board of the Coast Guard Spouses Association. Children Jaelah and Keyshawn are active in sports and Scouting, and recently organized a fundraiser to aid those affected by the tsunami in Japan.

NOAA Family of the Year

The Beaucage Family, Ford Island, Kailua, HI
LT Don Beaucage, Sarah, and young son Michael are currently stationed in Hawaii, where they serve the local area through community service. They volunteer monthly at the Kawainui and Hamakua Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary, work and volunteer with kids in the foster care system, and recently started a NOAA Corps family support group in Hawaii. They participate in fundraising activities such as the Relay for Life, and work to create a stronger sense of community for NOAA Corps members and their families.

USPHS Family of the Year

The Thompson Family, South Central Foundation, Eagle River, AK
LCDR Jasen Thompson, CDR Susan Thompson, and their family embrace the characteristics of perseverance, commitment and service. Jasen and Susan speak and volunteer at the local school’s health and science fair and encourage young students to take an active role in their own health.  Children Abigale, Samuel, and Joshua are active in the Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Little League Baseball. Together, the Thompsons devote time to collect and distribute food to local charities and participate in improvement projects in their community.

To sign up for eNotices about the 2012 Family Award Program, click here.

The Family Award Program is made possible thanks to support from the Association of Military Banks of America and BAE Systems.

About the National Military Family Association

The National Military Family Association is the leading nonprofit dedicated to serving the families who stand behind the uniform. Since 1969, NMFA has worked to strengthen and protect millions of families through its advocacy and programs. They provide spouse scholarships, camps for military kids, and retreats for families reconnecting after deployment and for the families of the wounded, ill, or injured. NMFA serves the families of the currently serving, retired, wounded or fallen members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Commissioned Corps of the USPHS and NOAA. To get involved or to learn more, visit

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