For Immediate Release
Meg Falk to Receive Support of Military Families Award for Career-Long Support for our Nation’s Families
September 22, 2015
Alexandria, VA – The National Military Family Association (NMFA), a nonprofit that works to strengthen and protect military families, is honored to announce career-long military family supporter, Meg Falk, as the 2015 recipient of the Support of Military Families Award. Ms. Falk will receive this award at NMFA’s Annual Leadership Luncheon.
The Support of Military Families Award honors individuals and organizations who, through their own work or leadership, have made changes which positively affect the lives of America’s military families around the world.
Meg Falk began her career as a teacher with the Department of Defense (DoD) Schools in Okinawa and Germany. She went on to work on military family concerns for the Department of the Navy and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. While at the Department of the Navy, Ms. Falk worked closely with the DoD and the other military services during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. Her highly collaborative manner set an example for others, and set the tone for the entire Department’s efforts at that time, resulting in a unified and highly effective response to the needs of wartime families. She was even appointed an Honorary Master Chief of the Navy by the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy.
“Ms. Falk has always kept military families at the forefront of everything she does,” said NMFA Chairman of the Board, Gail McGinn. “Her passion for giving military families the best support possible has been seen time and again, and we are honored to present her this award for her outstanding leadership.”
Some of Ms. Falk’s key work has been in writing policies to support families and their programs, like Family Centers on military installations. She also helped develop casualty and mortuary affairs policies and funeral honors policies, and initiated and coordinated legislation impacting military families.
Among many important initiatives and programs Ms. Falk spearheaded, two signature accomplishments stand out.
Military Funeral Honors
In 1998, the DoD was not able to afford to send the number of service members required to provide a proper burial to every funeral upon request. Ms. Falk led an unprecedented effort to pull together a team of diverse constituents to craft a plan for the delivery of Military Funeral Honors for our veterans and their families. As a part of this effort, Ms. Falk also created the Ceremonial Bugle. The bugle now sounds Taps digitally at veterans’ funerals, adding dignity to the honoring of our nations’ veterans.
Pentagon Family Assistance Center
On September 11, 2001, when the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon, Ms. Falk instantly saw the need for a Pentagon Family Assistance Center to support the families of those killed in the tragic attack and established this center overnight. Thanks to Ms. Falk’s hard work and dedication, the next morning, and the days following, families had a place to go for information and support. Ms. Falk received the Good Housekeeping Woman in Government Award for this effort.
“It is clear that Meg is among the most highly respected leaders of family support in the DoD,” said NMFA Executive Director, Joyce Raezer. “Her fans include, not only past supervisors, but even more importantly, the peers with whom she worked on these issues so critical to our national defense. She is truly deserving of this important recognition.”
Ms. Falk may have retired in May 2005, but she returned to the Navy five months later to serve on Task Force Navy Family, established to assist the military and civilian members and families affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. She served on this Task Force for two years.
For more information on NMFA’s Annual Leadership Luncheon, or to register, please visit: www.MilitaryFamily.org.
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 www.MilitaryFamily.org.