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NMFA Family Awards

National Military Family Association (NFMA) Family Awards

NMFA Family Award

Each year the National Military Family Association (NMFA) along with Nestlé USA and the Association of Military Banks of America (AMBA) recognize outstanding military families through NMFA's Family Award program. The NMFA Family Award is given to 12 families who exemplify the best of the military family lifestyle. Each winning family will receive $500. Additionally, one winning family will be chosen as the NMFA Family of the Year and will receive $1000 and a trip to Washington, D.C.

For more details or to nominate a family you know for the NMFA Family Award, visit

2007 Family of the Year - SSGT Thomas Hammond and Family - Fort Drum, NY

SSGT Thomas Hammond, USA; his wife, Abigail; and their four children, Dianna, William, Jessi, and Jacob - U.S. Army

Army Family Named NMFA Family of the Year

This year, NMFA is pleased to name a Fort Drum, NY Army family as the NMFA Family of the Year. The Hammond family; SSGT Thomas Hammond, his wife, Abigail; and their four children, Dianna, William, Jessi, and Jacob, were chosen for their family philosophy of "Family First" and for giving back to their community.

SSGT Hammond refers to Abbie as the "ring leader," she works and volunteers with the FRG (Family Readiness Group), AFTB (Army Family Team Building), AFAP (Army Family Action Plan), and the ESC (Enlisted Spouse Club). Dianna and William assist with child care for the FRG, Jessie volunteers with their church youth group, and Jacob gives swimming lessons. As a Deacon, SSGT Hammond spends much of his free time assisting with duties for their church.

The Hammond family will receive $1,000 and a trip to Washington, DC to be honored at a reception with senior military leaders and NMFA Family Award corporate sponsors. They will also have an opportunity to present $500 to a charity of their choice whose work benefits military families. NMFA, Nestlé USA, and the Association of Military Banks of America congratulate the Hammond family for making the most of the military family lifestyle.

2006 Family of the Year - Sgt Howard Hinckley and Family - Vermont Army National Guard

NMFA was pleased to present the Hinckley family with the NMFA Family of the Year award at a recent award luncheon. The Honorable Thomas Hall, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs joined NMFA as the guest speaker and presenter.

Vermont Army National Guard Family Named 2006 NMFA Family of the Year

Sgt Howard Hinckley asked his wife why she does what she does. Her response was, "I have an obligation as the spouse of a soldier in the US Military to make the lives easier of those around me...and to make sure that no one ever forgets what the [military] has done for this country and the people that live here."

Heather and Howard Hinckley and their three children, Cassie, Zachary, and Lance, demonstrate everyday, the best of the military family lifestyle. As a team, they have conquered the challenges the military family lifestyle brings and made the most of the adventure. For this reason, the Hinckley Family has been selected as the 2006 NMFA Family of the Year.

2004 Family of the Year - SSG Benny Smith and Family - Fort Bragg, NC

The Smith Family, Benny (SSG), Araceli, Benny Jr., Raul, and Samantha, is a shining example of a military family dedicated to improving the lives of others through their own selfless service. They are involved with so many programs and activities in their community that nominations were received from two different agencies. Ruth Barefoot, Family Programs Specialist said, "As a family, they inspire an excitement in others that is hard to find in many families today."

Over the past three years the family has logged over 3000 hours of community service. According to Catherine Mansfield, Ft. Bragg Installation Volunteer Services Coordinator, "The majority of their volunteer work is done as a family to allow more time together and instill the importance of community service in their children." Both SSG and Mrs. Smith have been delegates to the Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) conference, a conference that raises awareness to issues affecting Army families and suggests resolutions. Benny Jr. has also participated as a delegate to AFAP and to the Forces Command Teen Conference and is a member of the Army Teen Panel. Additionally, Mrs. Smith has served as a recorder, transcriber, issue developer, and facilitator. The entire family participates by coordinating and assembling materials for the hundreds of attendees the conference draws.

Benny and Araceli have always been active in their unit's Family Readiness Group. Together they have coordinated numerous fundraisers and family events. Mrs. Smith and Benny Jr. participated in focus groups with Picerne, the military housing privatization contractor, to identify the unique needs of military families. To this day they stay involved as liaisons between Army installation management and community residents. All three children have participated in their community youth councils and their church and have assisted spouses of deployed military personnel with various projects or odd jobs.

Ms. Barefoot spoke for many when she wrote in her nomination, "With their everlasting patriotism and commitment to making the Army, their community, and the world, a better place, they are truly an exceptional Army family."

Another 2004 Family Award Winner - LTC and Mrs. Dean Stodter and Family - Carlisle Barracks, PA