By Karl Weisel (Wiesbaden Family and MWR)October 22, 2018
WIESBADEN, Germany - Long-time volunteer and former military spouse Federica LeMauk has made it her life's mission to serve others in the military community.
LeMauk was recently invited to Washington, D.C., to be honored as the European Association of the United States Army Region's Department of the Army Civilian of the Year.
"It's humbling," said LeMauk, a 25-year military spouse and Department of the Army Civilian with Wiesbaden Army Community Service. "All of these things that I do, I do because I love doing them -- not expecting to be recognized."
As ACS's Survivor Outreach Services program manager, LeMauk has ensured that Gold Star family members are honored, cared for and included in community events. In the past she has helped community members in her roles with Army Emergency Relief, the Army Family Action Plan, Army Family Team Building, Domestic Violence Prevention Program, school support, library story time, tax preparation and as a college-level instructor of psychology and sociology -- just to name a few of her many contributions as a volunteer and federal employee.
"Federica is known throughout the Wiesbaden military community as the professional who is always in constant motion," said David Fulton, director of U.S. Army Europe's Mission Support Element. "She is consistently seeking to improve processes and services to advance the quality of life families experience when residing overseas. … Federica devotes herself to providing muscle, brain-power and heart to projects and events that improve her military community and inspire Soldiers, civilians and their families to consider Wiesbaden their home away from home."
"When I first met Federica she was working with the Military Child Education Coalition's Parent to Parent Program," said Peter Witmer, Wiesbaden's school liaison officer. In that capacity, she was "instrumental in supporting Child and Youth Services and the schools. … She had the background to support that and a passion to support military families. She's always reliable, prepared, knowledgeable and passionate."
"Being part of Army Family Team Building and the Army Family Action Plan has helped me," said LeMauk, pointing out she has learned as much from the programs as shared with her fellow military community members.
"As a military spouse, I've done so many different things. I need to get out of the house and do something -- sometimes it has been a paid job, but that hasn't stopped me from also volunteering," LeMauk said. "I'm always grateful for having had opportunities to volunteer with ACS."
Her reward, she said, is "helping Soldiers and families and seeing them grow and overcome obstacles -- because this military life is not that easy."
"My best advice for everyone is to get involved and become part of the community," said LeMauk, who is a past recipient of the Dr. Mary E. Walker Award and Presidential Volunteer Service Award for Lifetime Achievement.
"That's when I've always felt happiest -- building those connections and feeling useful," she said. "There are so many places you can volunteer -- as long as you enjoy it and see a purpose in it."