Since 1999, AUSA's Family Readiness Directorate has worked to support the needs and interests of Army families by:
- Traveling to installations around the world to make presentations, host focus groups and receive briefings on housing, TRICARE, family readiness programs, Army Community Service programs and children's education issues;
- Gathering information from Army families to use in AUSA legislative and advocacy efforts;
- Representing AUSA on various Department of the Army and Department of Defense councils and task forces such as the Army's Well-Being Consortium, the Youth Education Advisory Working Group, the AAFES and DeCA Advisory Councils, the In-State Tuition Working Group and the Spouse Employment Summit;
- Supporting the Army Family Action Plan, as well as numerous family readiness activities including active duty, reserve and National Guard family training events;
- Administering the annual AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year Award which recognizes the importance of families and volunteers to the success of the Army mission;
- Working with AUSA Chapters to support Army family events and programs at local installations.
- Hosting Military Family Forums dealing with Army well-being and family support issues at the AUSA Annual Meeting.
Family Readiness Department
Patty Barron, Director of Family Programs
Patty Barron joined the staff at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) in January of 2012 as AUSA’s Director of Family Programs.
She supports all AUSA family programs and activities by providing management and oversight to all directorate activities to include: establishing and maintaining relationships with the Department of Defense and non-government organizations, representing AUSA on Department of Defense and Department of the Army councils and working groups, disseminating information to Army families on current programs and benefits, and working closely with other AUSA directorates by engaging in AUSA chapter and installation visits to keep abreast of issues and challenges facing today’s Army families.
An Army spouse of 32 years, Patty has spent her adult life working on behalf of soldiers and their families. She has volunteered with Family Readiness Groups, Army Family Team Building, Army Community Service, the Red Cross and many wives clubs and school organizations.
Before joining the AUSA staff, Patty served as the Director of Outreach, Military Family Projects, at ZERO TO THREE, whose primary mission is the healthy development of infants and toddlers. Patty also worked as the Director, Youth Initiatives, at the National Military Family Association. In this position, she served as the subject matter expert on children’s mental health and deployment issues, and collaborated with other organizations, programs and initiatives dealing with issues affecting military children. She oversaw the Association’s programs and initiatives that affect children and youth, such as the Operation Purple camps for children of deployed service members.
Patty has served on the Zero to Three “Coming Together Around Military Children” Advisory Board, the Sesame Workshop “Talk Listen, Connect; Phase Two” Advisory Panel and is currently serving on the Families OverComing Under Stress (FOCUS) Advisory Group, the National Children’s Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) Advisory Group, and the Exchange Retiree Advisory Council.
Patty earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the University of San Francisco in 1980 and a Master of Science degree in community counseling from Long Island University in 1992.
She is married to Col. (R) Michael Barron, and has three children, Michael, Megan (Capt., USA), and Joseph , and a son-in-law, Vance Zemke (CPT., USA).
Amanda Anderson, Web, Media, and Special Projects Specialist
Amanda Anderson joined the staff at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) in May of 2014. She supports the AUSA Family Readiness department using the website, social media, and newsletters.
Before joining the AUSA staff, Amanda worked at the National Military Family Association, whose mission is to fight for benefits and programs that strengthen and protect Uniformed Services families and reflect the Nation’s respect for their service.
Amanda earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture from Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma.
She is married to Major Rich Anderson and has 2 boys, Richie and Brady.
Holly Hodges, Family Programs Assistant to the Director