03 October 2010

Every Day Hero: Military Spouse of the Year

Spouse with ‘Spine of Steel’ Honored

Military.com and CincHouse.com presented the 2010 Spouse of the Year award to Carren Ziegenfuss Sept. 30 at a ceremony held at the Minuteman Memorial Building on Capitol Hill.

Congressman Glen Thompson, R-Pa., who represents Ziegenfuss’ hometown of Franklin, highlighted the poise and dedication exemplified by those who hold down the fort while troops are overseas.

“The heroes and patriots are the spouses,” Thompson said, adding that a Ziegenfuss friend told him, “This lady has a spine of steel.”

In 2005 Ziegenfuss’ husband was wounded in Iraq while serving as an Army officer. During his recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, she started an outreach group for families of Wounded Warriors through Soldier’s Angels, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping injured troops and their families.

Through the efforts of his wife and Soldier’s Angels, then-Capt. Chuck Ziegenfuss was provided voice-recognition software that allowed him to use his laptop computer despite injuries to his hands – an action that improved his outlook towards his wounds and increased the rate of his recovery.

Ms. Ziegenfuss – an Army veteran who met her future husband during ROTC training at the University of Indiana – also volunteered as a PTSD counselor and currently works as a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter in Hawaii, the family’s current duty station.

“Carren spends her time thinking about how she can be helpful to other people,” said Scott Celley, an executive with TriWest, who sponsored the award along with ASMBA. “She’s a great example of serving something greater than ourselves.”

“I read the bios of the other nominees and I was amazed,” Ziegenfuss said after accepting the crystal vase signifying the Spouse of the Year award from T. McCreary, the President of Military.com. “It is very humbling to win.”...


During her brief acceptance remarks, Ziegenfuss mentioned that she was donating the $5,000 Spouse of the Year award funds to Soldiers Angels.

Thank a spouse for everything they do,” she said in closing. “Most of the time it doesn’t go recognized.” [emphasis mine]

Go read the rest of this here.

SpouseBUZZ, a blog written by, and for, military spouses, also has a video tribute to Mrs Ziegenfuss too. Well worth the time here.

The families ALSO serve, every single day. They ARE heroes.

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