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2004 Very Important Patriot Award - Barb Stout

2004 VIP Award - Barb Stout

Barb Stout - VIP Award Recipient

Rapid City, South Dakota

Barb Stout, Army National Guard spouse, of Rapid City, South Dakota, has been selected as one of five recipients of the Very Important Patriot Award for 2004. Each of the five VIP recipients and a companion will be flown to Washington, DC, in November of 2004. During their stay in the Nation's Capital they receive their cash award of $1000, meet with senior leaders of their individual services, visit with their elected representatives on Capitol Hill, and meet the generous sponsors of the VIP Program.

The Very Important Patriot (VIP) Program, administered by the National Military Family Association, recognizes exceptional volunteers worldwide, who are chosen for their outstanding service, which contributes to improving the quality of life in their military and neighboring communities. Active duty, reserve component, and retired military members of the seven uniformed services and their family members and survivors are eligible to receive the awards.

As was the case for many families over the past few years, Barb Stout's husband was called to duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Barb, a mother of five, answered the call as well.

Barb took a relatively inactive support group and formed a solid group that truly focused on supporting the families and soldiers. She involved various community organizations and individuals throughout the state to allow them to express their encouragement and support for our families. Without a doubt, because of Barbs efforts and her leadership abilities, the units support group will remain vital in the critical months ahead as we continue to work in the readjustment and reunion phase for out families.

Barb led a group of volunteers that met every week to offer their support to one another during the deployment of their unit, with an average of 75 attendees per meeting. Their projects were unending and worthy. She spearheaded the efforts of not only family members of deployed soldiers, but also the entire community. She also played a key role in the support of other Lead Volunteers throughout the state by offering advice, suggestions and lessons she had learned.

Barb's list of volunteer activities are so extensive describing them would take pages and pages, so here are a few highlights to help you get to know this remarkable volunteer a little better. Her volunteer service covers a span of countless hours and distances of up to 200 miles. Her dedication is inspiring and heartwarming to all of the families she touches.

Barb attended all levels of State Family Readiness Training, to include: Basic Volunteer Training, Advanced Volunteer Training, Lead Volunteer Training, Guard Family Team Building "Train the Trainer" Course; she participated in various Leadership workshops and State Family Readiness Workshops; she coordinated media interviews that projected a positive image of families and soldiers; she coordinated community and family support by organizing care packages that were sent to soldiers on a monthly basis; she organized youth activities such as counseling for youth on a biweekly basis, various fun activities to include, bowling, swimming, picnics and various special holiday events; and she created committees within the support group that provided direction and focus to the group, such as, fundraising committee, youth activities, ministerial committee, greeting and sympathy card committee.

Barb Stout's phenomenal volunteer service stands as an inspiring example and with great pride NMFA names Barb as a Very Important Patriot.