February 25, 2009

Notification forms available for National Volunteer Awards

By Sgt. Andrew H. Owen
Virginia Guard
Public Affairs

RICHMOND, Va. — The National Guard Bureau sent notification to Soldiers, Airmen and civilian employees to inform them that now is the time to recognize those that give their time freely to make a difference in the Guard community through a new Volunteer Awards Recognition System to award the selfless sacrifice that volunteers make by sharing their precious time and commitment to go the extra mile.

The new program was designed in 2008 with assistance from the National Guard Family Volunteer Program Coordinators and National Volunteer Advisory Committee to promote superior performance among all volunteers and recognize outstanding contributions made by individual volunteers and organizations.
There will be four categories which volunteers can be nominated for, according to official sources. The awards are Guard Family of the Year, Family Member of the Year, Family Program Community Purple Award and the Extra Mile Award (retired) and will be awarded to seven recipients.

Nominations for the awards are due no later than March 15 and will be reviewed by NVAC to select final nominations before being sent to National Volunteer Coordinator for final selections.

Awardees will be announced at the annual National Guard Volunteer and Youth Symposium and published in the Symposium agenda. Ceremonies for the awards will be within the individual states and at their own discretion.

The Guard Family of the Year Award is will be awarded to the Guard family that best represents and enhances the quality of life in support of their Soldiers and Airmen, according to officials. This award will be given to both an Army Guard family as well as an Air Guard family.

The Family Member of the Year Award will be given in recognition of the family member that best represents and enhances the quality of life in support of their service member. The Family Member of the Year award will be awarded to both an Army Guard family member and an Air Guard family member. According to officials, a family member may be spouses, parents, adult children, siblings, grandparents, aunts/uncles or significant others.

The Extra Mile Award (retired) will recognize the sacrifices made by an individual retiree, who through outstanding and exceptional service continues to serve the Guard through participation as a volunteer in the Joint Family Program. Both an Air and Army Guard award will be presented.

The Family Program Community Purple Award will be presented to the community group or faith-based organization that best exemplifies the “purple” concept of the Joint Family Programs through working with both the Air and Army activities. It will be awarded to one group annually that shows they make an effort to provide support to Families and Servicemembers and exemplifies the essence of “One Guard, One Family.”

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