AUSA Family of the Year
From left, Association of the U.S. Army's Jim Rountree and Kris McBride present the Redstone-Huntsville Chapter's award to the Bertling family, Sam, KC and Sam Jr. The two video-teleconferencing screens in the background show SMDC's Huntsville scene and Colorado Springs scene.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. --The Bertling family gives, so that whether a Soldier gives some or all, their sacrifice never goes without a thank you.

The Bertling family -- Sam, KC and their son Sam Jr. -- has been selected as the Army Volunteer Family of the Year for the AUSA Redstone-Huntsville Chapter. They will compete for the national honor in October.

"We're nobody important or nobody special, but by being recognized in such a way, it shows the people that they can also do it too," KC said of the award. "If we can do it, they can do better. It's just an honor and a privilege to be an American, and it's by the expense of the other military members who sacrifice every day."

Providing service to both Soldiers and veterans has been a lifelong calling for the Bertlings, who not only support the Army in their volunteer work, but professionally as well. Sam Sr. retired as a first sergeant from the Army in 1996 after more than 24 years of service, and both currently work full time as Army civilians, program analysts at the Space and Missile Defense Command.

They both actively volunteer with the Survivor Outreach Services program and Tragedy Assistance Program through Army Community Service. Sam Jr., who served in the Navy, is active in his community of Virginia Beach, Va., where he volunteers for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the state governor's and senators offices, and at the city visitors center.

"The Bertling family has demonstrated their strong commitment to serving others and various veterans organizations through their highly involved community services," Jim Rountree, vice president, Army Family Programs, of the Redstone-Huntsville chapter, said. "They are all absolutely passionate in their total support in these efforts. Their love for American values, and their obvious pride to be an Army family exemplifies their distinctive patriotism and love of country."

The family's list of volunteer efforts is extensive, but also includes preparing and serving Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for Soldiers stationed at Hohenfels, Germany where they were assigned in the 1990s, assisting in the days following the April 27, 2011 tornadoes and serving in various capacities at the churches in the communities where they have lived.

"We are very proud of KC, Sam and Sam Jr. and all the efforts that they have put in," Lt. Gen. Richard Formica, commander of SMDC, said. "We're proud as can be that you have selected one of SMDC's own to compete in October. Thank you for all you do on duty and off duty to support our Soldiers."

Perhaps best known for her work with Korean War veterans, together with her husband, KC, a native of Korea, is passionate in her work in support of those veterans, and established the Legacy 4 Korean War Veterans Foundation in January 2011. The 501(c)3 not only supports the veterans at home here in the Tennessee Valley, but raises funds to send any that are interested back to Korea for a week, where they are able to see how the country has changed as a result of their labors six decades ago.

"It's a great opportunity for nine Korean War veterans to go back and see what they actually did," Formica said.

Page last updated Fri September 28th, 2012 at 15:01