Military families honored during Guard’s volunteer symposium
For their generosity, support and devotion to fellow guardsmen, two families were recognized during the North Dakota National Guard’s Volunteer Symposium March 9 at the Ramada Plaza and Suites in Fargo. Both the North Dakota Army and Air National Guard honored their 2013 Family of the Year.
“We all know that when our guardsmen are called upon to serve, their families serve, as well,” said Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota adjutant general. “Our 2013 Families of the Year are indicative of the selfless service that all of our military families demonstrate when we respond for emergencies in our communities or mobilize for missions overseas.”
Master Sgt. Josh Clarke and his wife, Rachel, represented the North Dakota Air National Guard’s Family of the Year. Clarke works full time as a swing shift flight sergeant for the 119th Wing Security Forces Squadron in Fargo.
The North Dakota Army National Guard recognized Staff Sgt. Neil Horner, his wife, Chelsey, and their 1-year-old daughter, Nevaeh, as its 2013 Family of the Year. Horner is the readiness noncommissioned officer for Detachment 1, 815th Engineer Company (Horizontal) in Wishek, N.D. Neil and Chelsey both support members of the 815th throughout the year during a number of unit family activities. In addition to volunteering time to work during the events, the Horners also have donated personal items, including their horses and a buggy, which they used to give family members rides around the Wishek community during the unit’s annual holiday party.
Chelsey is the lead family readiness group volunteer for the Wishek unit. In that role, she has organized multiple events to support soldiers of the North Dakota Army National Guard.
In December 2012, she helped coordinate “Blankets for Kids.” During the event, her family readiness group made 46 tie-dye blankets for children of deployed soldiers in the 191st Military Police Company, who were mobilized for a yearlong mission to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Chelsey also has completed a number of training events with the North Dakota National Guard, including resiliency training where she became qualified as a resilience trainer’s assistant.