Gift-giving family recognized as Army Family of Year
December 3, 2010
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany (Army News Service, Dec. 3, 2010) -- An Army family that runs three charities for deployed troops was selected as the Army Family of the Year by the National Military Family Association.
Sgt. Joe Campbell and his wife Tawny stationed at Kaiserslautern, Germany, run Operation Angel, Project Rudolph and Project Portrait with help from daughters Ceilidha and Rhynli.
"As a family, you can go out and do these things," Tawny Campbell said. "Serve as a family."
Operation Angel cheers up injured troops through small gift bags passed out at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. Project Rudolph provides gift bags to military members at overseas bases and in combat zones. Project Portrait creates family photographs before deployments and portraits for deployed Soldiers of their wives and newborn infants.
A flight medic with the Landstuhl, Germany-based Company C, 1st Battalion, 214th Aviation Regiment, Campbell is currently deployed to Afghanistan on his second combat tour.
The projects are a family event when he is home and help the family stay connected when he is away, Tawny said.
"Every time we do something, I think, 'this could be my husband,'" she said. "Because it is, in fact, somebody's husband or father or son and it could easily be mine."
In October, the Alexandria, Va.-based association picked seven families, one from each military service and other government agencies. One family will be selected as the overall military family of the year, during a Dec. 7 event that the Campbells are attending.
The award recognizes "strong military families who embrace their service to the nation, are role models in their community, and understand that together they are stronger," according to the association website.
"We're just the figurehead of a larger group of people supporting us and supporting the Soldiers," Tawny said. "It's not our name, it's our volunteering. For those who volunteer, this recognition is just as much for them as it for us."