NATICK, Mass. -- Staff Sgt. Anthony Sandoval and his wife, Megan, as well as their children, Colton and Hadley, were honored for their selfless service during a Military Families Month celebration hosted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts in partnership with Massachusetts Fallen Heroes. The ceremony was held at the John Joseph Moakley Federal Courthouse Jury Assembly Hall on November 22.

Sandoval currently serves as an operations sergeant at Headquarters Research and Development Detachment, or HRDD, at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center. He plans and coordinates all detachment operations and is responsible for maintaining the detachment's automation equipment. He also manages the Command Supply Discipline Program and is responsible for the health, welfare, training and professional development of more than 150 enlisted Soldiers.

As a trained U.S. Army Calvary Scout, Sandoval has been deployed several times overseas. Cavalry Scouts serve as reconnaissance specialists and are known as the "eyes and ears" of the Army.

Capt. Susan Mason, HRDD commander at NSRDEC, nominated Sandoval and his family for their "hard work, devotion, and numerous contributions to the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center."

Sandoval and his wife, Megan, were recognized for supporting the Morale, Welfare and Recreation office for the installation, including unit Esprit de Corps activities and major garrison-wide events at NSSC. Members of the Sandoval family also contributed to significant organizations such as the Equal Opportunity Office, holding leadership positions within the Hispanic Heritage Committee.

The Sandoval family also served as representatives for the unit for the Boston Fisher House, Natick Days and major holiday events, such as local Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies.

NSSC and NSRDEC are extremely proud to call the Sandoval family their own.

"This is a terrific Army family that exudes team spirit," said Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Pintagro, the Natick garrison sergeant major. "The Sandovals enthusiastically support virtually every event we conduct. They turn up at community and esprit events, parades and outreach activities. They're ideal ambassadors for Team Natick."

Col. Charles H. May, NSRDEC's military deputy, said that Sandoval and his family embody the "true personification of selfless service to our nation, fellow Soldiers and the family, which is the foundation of emotional stability that enables our Soldiers to accomplish the seemingly impossible."

In a message included in the event's program, Acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts, U.S. Department of Justice, thanked the nation's military families.

"Military families bear a tremendous burden, supporting their loved ones in uniform through deployments and relocations, through injury and recovery," said Weinreb. "Military families live by a code of honor, putting the well-being of others ahead of their own, time and again. Their selflessness is a quiet form of service and also an inspiration to all. Today, and every day, we thank military families for their service and sacrifice to our country."

Sandoval felt very humbled to be selected for this award. Sandoval also extended congratulations to the additional four families representing the other service branches and commended them for their sacrifice and commitment.

"Military families are the fuel behind the service member that allows them to accomplish their mission," said Sandoval. "They face many challenges and hardships through deployments, tours of duty, long training events, frequent travel, or new assignments. This common ground bonds us together in support of one another -- where multiple families become one. This is why I believe it's important to volunteer and make contributions."

Sandoval also expressed the importance of remembering "those currently deployed, keeping our enemies awake at night" and the importance of keeping "Gold Star families in our hearts" as those families have lost someone who "paid the ultimate price for freedom."

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The U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities that provide decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the joint warfighter and the nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.