NMFA honors military families, names family of the year

  • Published
  • By Elaine Wilson
  • American Forces Press Service
An Air Force family was named the National Military Family Association's 2010 Family of the Year Dec. 7, for selfless service to the nation and the community.

The association honored a family from each service before announcing that the Mullin family, of Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, had earned the top honor.

Families like the Mullins "embrace their service to the nation, are role models in their community and understand that together they truly can make a difference in the lives of others," said Mary Scott, the association's chairman of the board.

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley presented the award to Trasi Mullin and her six children: Briley, Ali, Brian Jr., Catie, Cormac and Jack. Her husband, Lt. Col. Brian Mullin, is deployed to Iraq, but happened to call just after the ceremony ended. Trasi Mullin raced to talk to him as soon as she could break away from the people rushing to congratulate her.

"I can't believe it; I'm shocked," Mrs. Mullin told her husband.

He replied that he wasn't shocked because he knew she deserved the honor, she said.

The Mullins' 12-year-old daughter, Briley, said she could tell that her dad was excited about the award.

"I know he really wishes he was here," she said.

While honored her family was chosen, Mrs. Mullin said she believes any of the families honored would have been an outstanding choice.

"We're a simple representation of all the thousands and thousands of families, not just in the Air Force, but across all branches," she said.

The Mullins were honored for their participation in the community as religious educators, scout leaders and volunteers for medical causes. The children helped out by mowing the lawns of families with a deployed servicemember and also started a collection to help with relief efforts in Haiti.

The ceremony also honored the six other families contending for the association's Family of the Year title, with one family traveling in from as far away as Japan.

The families each represented a uniformed service branch -- the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, U.S. Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- and had earlier been named their service's Family of the Year.

The finalists include:
-- Army Family of the Year: the Campbell family from Landstuhl, Germany
-- Navy Family of the Year: the Seidel family from Colts Neck, N.J.
-- Marine Corps Family of the Year: the Francis family from Okinawa, Japan
-- Coast Guard Family of the Year: the Kennedy family from Beaufort, N.C.
-- USPHS Family of the Year: the Seligman family from Potomac, Md.
-- NOAA Family of the Year: the Heesch family from Gulfport, Miss.

Top leaders from each branch presented the families with their service-level Family of the Year award during the ceremony.

The National Military Family Association is a nonprofit organization committed to strengthening and protecting the families of men and women who are currently serving, retired, wounded or fallen.