By Suzanne Reynolds, Army War College Public Affairs OfficeOctober 24, 2008
An Army spouse at Carlisle Barracks has been selected for the Jefferson Award for Public Service, recognizing countless hours of volunteer service to her community.
Wendy Sledd was selected for this award based on her volunteer work with Carlisle Barracks, Cumberland County and Pennsylvania. Her work in central Pennsylvania, since arriving here in August, continues a decades-long commitment to Army communities and to children's welfare in communities around the world.
"My family is the military," said Sledd. Just as you would help any other family member by getting involved in volunteering, I am actually helping my own family. I am able to connect and feel part of the community immediately after being relocated."
At Carlisle Barracks, Sledd serves as a board member for both the Protestant Women of the Chapel and Spouses Club.
Since arriving in Carlisle, Sledd has participated in more than 55 events in support of Special Olympics, March of Dimes, Leukemia Society and Muscular Dystrophy Association. She is chairman of the board of the Central Pennsylvania Division March of Dimes and a participant in the Association of the U.S. Army.
Sledd is a Pennsylvania Court-Appointed Special Advocate for Abused Children. This is a special cause for her since she was born to emotionally and physically abusive parents, she said.
"I was one of the lucky ones," she said. "I had my maternal grandparents so I did not have to go into foster care." In her role as Mrs. Pennsylvania Galaxy 2009, Sledd expresses her commitment to Army families and children's welfare. She visits schools and organizations discussing an array of topics such as life as a military spouse, cancer awareness, drug and alcohol awareness, fitness, and volunteerism.
"She is one of the most caring and giving people I know," said her husband, Lt. Col. Keith Sledd, an Army War College student and previously the commander of the 299th Forward Support Battalion in Schweinfurt, Germany. Her volunteer work with community agencies gave her connections and access to resources that paid off for the Soldiers' families, he noted.
"Her level of dedication is unmatched by anyone I have ever met and her efforts inspire everyone she meets," he said.
Sledd previously participated in the Defense Dept. "Operation Tribute to Freedom" speakers program speaking to audiences throughout the nation about the sacrifices of Soldiers and their families. She is an advocate for Soldiers' benefits and for military spouses' use of the Montgomery-GI Bill.
A two-time cancer survivor, she has lobbied for research funding for the American Cancer Society.
The Sledds' daughter Jennifer and granddaughter Paige live in Woodbridge, Va.
The Jefferson Awards for Public Service is a national program to encourage and honor individuals for their achievements and contributions through public and community service.
Local Jefferson awardees , like Sledd, are "unsung heroes" - ordinary people who do extraordinary things without expectation of recognition, according to the organization.
In the Susquehanna Valley, six Jefferson Awardees were selected from applications representing each of the six regions of the Susquehanna Valley. The awards are sponsored by WGAL-TV 8, PSECU and local United Way Agencies, and will formally recognize the awardees with a medallion, "In Recognition of Outstanding Public Service" at the Jefferson Awards Banquet in Harrisburg, Nov. 6.