FORT RILEY, Kan. – The 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley hosted its second Big Red One Year of Family (BYOF) 1st Family Award Recognition Ceremony on June 23, 2022, at the installation’s Victory Chapel.
The ceremony honored 14 Big Red One affiliated Families for their volunteer efforts and continued support to the Soldiers and Families of 1ID and Fort Riley.
As a part of Operation Victory Wellness, the BYOF is a division-led, yearlong campaign focused on building the strength and resilience of Families, educating Families about available resources, and showing appreciation for their support.
“The Families we are recognizing have gone above and beyond the call of duty by giving their own personal time to make a positive and enduring impact within our community,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Niave Knell, the 1ID senior mission commander. “It’s only fitting that we take a minute to pause and recognize them for their actions.”
Volunteering on and around Fort Riley has given the recipients an opportunity to give back to the community and build social bonds.
“The military Family is one of the most critical assets we have in our Army today,” said Knell. “We simply cannot accomplish the mission without them. A healthy family and a happy family create a more ready Soldier who can focus on the mission and serve our nation to the utmost of his or her ability.”
Each award recipient was selected and nominated by their respective brigade command teams.
The awardees were Erin Kelly and Beckah Flanick, from 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1ID; Haley Watters and Gianna Fernandes, from 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1ID; Aaron Serra and Melanie Osbourne, from 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1ID; Frances Roth and Alexis Bonn, from Sustainment Brigade, 1ID; Sgt. Christopher Putnam, Breanne Putnam, and Ronnie Frazee, from 1st Division Artillery; Rebekah Weinrich and Penny Marvin, from U.S. Army Garrison – Fort Riley; Yessica Vasquez from Irwin Army Community Hospital; and Dr. Jerome Kinzey from Dental Health Activity.
“I’m the one usually suggesting other people for awards, so I’m glad that I got this one,” said Rebekah Weinrich, one of the 14 1st Family award recipients. “It shows people see what I do, and more importantly, that people are blessed from what I do, so they can benefit through my volunteering.”
BYOF seeks to create opportunities to increase Family resiliency while honoring and recognizing the important foundational role our Families play in our organization’s success.
The goal of the campaign is to develop stronger, more resilient 1ID Families and Soldiers, and increase operational readiness to accomplish any mission the Nation calls on the Big Red One to undertake.
“With my husband being a part of the Big Red One Year of Family, I get to see a lot of it firsthand,” said Weinrich. “Sometimes people don’t see a need for something until they have to look for one, but at Fort Riley, we value Families, because if Families aren’t taken care of it’s going to affect the Army.”