AUSA Family Programs is pleased to announce that LTC John R. Chavez, his wife Holly, and their five children have been selected as the 2007 AUSA Rubbermaid-Irwin Volunteer Family of the Year.
The Award recognizes an exceptional Family whose volunteerism has contributed significantly to the well-being of the Army community and will be presented on Monday, October 8, at the opening ceremony of the Association’s Annual Meeting (Oct. 8-10) at the Washington Convention Center.
The Chavez Family, who were nominated by AUSA’s Korea Chapter, are currently stationed at Suwon Air Force Base, South Korea, where LTC Chavez is assigned to the 1-43 Air Defense Artillery Battalion. Each member of the Chavez family, from the oldest to the youngest, has demonstrated a strong commitment to the welfare of Soldiers and families, as well as to their Korean neighbors, through a variety of volunteer activities.
LTC Chavez is a strong advocate of volunteerism among his troops. His battalion has won awards for its community relations program and for its Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers activities. LTC Chavez is an active member of the Knights of Columbus and he is also involved in coaching and mentoring youth through his work with the Boy Scouts of America.
Holly Chavez has taken on several volunteer positions during her time in Korea. She has served as a board member of the Osan Spouses Club, a Red Cross volunteer, an Army Family Action Plan delegate, and as a liaison between Army Community Service and the Air Force Readiness Center. Holly has also drawn on her background as a teacher to assist in improving the community’s schools.
Mrs. Chavez’s efforts on behalf of the 1-43 ADA’s family readiness group have done much to bridge the gap between Soldiers stationed in Korea and their families living in the United States. To better understand the concerns of family members she even traveled to Fort Bliss, Texas to speak with spouses of Soldiers who had been or were about to rotate to Korea. As a result, the unit’s family readiness group maintains strong contacts with stateside spouses through newsletters, monthly videoconferences and a network of military family liaisons. Her work in support of Soldiers and their families has already been recognized through a number of volunteer awards.
Together, John and Holly Chavez give much of their time in support of their church and local religious organizations. LTC Chavez has served his parish council as vice-president and president and has served as an ushers, religious education teacher and lector. Mrs. Chavez is the parish coordinator and a youth group leader at Osan Air Force Base Chapel. She has also worked as a volunteer for a local orphanage, the Little Sisters of the Poor, and in building of the Pallottine Church.
With two parents who are so committed to improving their communities though volunteerism it not surprising that the Chavez children are following in their parents’ footsteps.
Rosemary, the eldest daughter, has served as a religious education instructor, an assistant youth leader, and a swim coach with Osan’s youth services. Rosemary recently enlisted in the US Army and will enter basic training in September 2007.
Noelle Chavez, currently a senior at Osan American High School, has also volunteered as a religious instructor and as a volunteer at a local Korean orphanage. She has also helped fellow students transitioning to Korea by volunteering as a peer mentor.
Like his two older sisters, fifteen-year-old John R. Chavez II is also involved in volunteering with his church, serving in several capacities including vacation bible school volunteer, assistant religious education teacher and altar server. John has also volunteered in multiple service projects through the Boy Scouts ranging from a project to beautify a new barracks area to reconditioning grave markers at Quantico National Cemetery. Based on his record of service to the community, Osan Air Force Base recognized John as the Youth Volunteer of the Quarter. He aspires to follow his father’s example by joining the Army.
Even the two youngest Chavez children are following in their family’s tradition of volunteerism. Sebastian and Nicolas, ages five and three respectively, are frequent visitors to a nearby senior living facility for the elderly poor.
Both as a family and as individuals the Chavez Family demonstrates a generosity of spirit and commitment to service that makes them truly deserving of the title of AUSA Rubbermaid-Irwin Volunteer Family of the Year.
In recognition of all that they have done on behalf of Soldiers, Families and their community, the Chavez Family will receive a trip to Washington D.C. for the Annual Meeting, a cash prize and a gift basket courtesy of Rubbermaid, AUSA and GEICO.
AUSA Family Programs would also like to congratulate the two runner-up families: First Sergeant Roberto Marshall and Family of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Staff Sergeant Christopher Rolack and Family of Yongsan Army Garrison, Korea. Each runner up family will be awarded a savings bond and gift basket in recognition of their dedicated service to their neighbors and communities.
A special word of thanks should also go Rubbermaid Corporation for their very generous support for this award as well as to GEICO and to all of the AUSA chapters who sent in nominations for this year’s AUSA Rubbermaid-Irwin Volunteer Family of the Year Award. All nominated families will receive an Association coin and certificate.