Saturday, September 17, 2011

Oregon Guard Family Resource Group Coordinator recognized with national award

110917-F-1639C-561 by oregonmildep
110917-F-1639C-561, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

CLACKAMAS, Ore.--The Chief of the National Guard Bureau, U.S. Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley, recognized an Oregon Army National Guard Family Resources Group Coordinator with a national-level award, during the Oregon Guard's Senior Leadership Conference, held at the new 41 Infantry Division Armed Forces Reserve Center at Camp Withycombe, in Clackamas, Ore., Sept. 17.

Jennifer A. Patzner, the Family Resources Group Coordinator for the Oregon Army National Guard's 141 Brigade Support Battalion, received the National Guard Bureau Regional Family Coordinator of the Year Award during the opening ceremonies of Oregon's annual leadership conference.

Patzner is credited with volunteering over 30 hours per week, organizing care packages for deployed Soldiers of the unit, and assisting family members of deployed personnel.

The recognition comes as a surprise, and is a humbling experience, Patzner said before the ceremony.

"I'm extremely humbled by this recognition," Patzner said. "But I'm getting this award on behalf of the entire team."

Patzner said the coordinators' jobs are challenging at times because National Guard families are extremely proud, and typically don't ask for help when they need it most.

"But it's also important because when we do support the families of deployed Soldiers, then the Soldiers can focus on their mission (during deployments), and return home safely."

In her three-year tenure as the FRG Coordinator, Patzner has earned 15 certificates in courses such as suicide prevention, leadership, volunteer assessment programs and others, and attended two state workshops and the FRG National Conference in Michigan.

Patzner, who holds a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from Oregon State University, also volunteers her time with the Girl Scouts, South Salem High School Dance Team, the American Red Cross, the Boosters, and the Oregon Partnership Against Drugs.

She encouraged families of deployed Oregon National Guard members to keep them in mind, even when there is no pressing need for services.

"We're here for you," Patzner said of the FRG coordinators. "When your Soldier is gone, we want you to rely on us. We all have the same goal--to make sure your Soldier makes it home safe."

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