The Association of the US Army Family Programs Directorate is pleased to announce SGT Jeremy Barnhart and Family of Fort Carson, CO, as the 2011 recipients of the AUSA Volunteer Family of Year Award. We congratulate SGT Barnhart, his wife Katrina, and their children Logan Ricketts, Kayleigh, Colton and Brayden, on being selected and thank them for their outstanding contributions to their fellow Army families and their community.
SGT Jeremy Barnhart is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom where he served as a combat medic for 2-12 Infantry, 4th Infantry Division (4ID). He is a Purple Heart recipient due to severe wounds suffered in Baghdad, Iraq. Since his injury and subsequent return to Colorado Springs, SGT Barnhart has not only continued his volunteer activities but has actually increased them.. He accepted the responsibilities as Noncommissioned Officer in Charge and musical director of Fort Carson’s Harmony in Motion, a volunteer group that performs and sings throughout Colorado. He contributes time to the local Tragedy Assistance Program (TAPS) and also spends numerous hours mentoring young people about life and career choices, as they are transitioning from juvenile correctional facilities. SGT Barnhart dedicates his time to children in the community by serving as a youth soccer coach and a volunteer Cub master and Den Leader for the Cub Scouts. He supports numerous additional programs and events include coordinating “Make a Difference Day”, volunteering at National Night Out, and participating with Thanksgiving Pumpkin and Toy give –a-way programs. SGT Barnhart as received numerous certificates of appreciation and recognition, and also been awarded the Exemplary Volunteer Service Award and the Fort Columbine Award of Excellence for his dedication to Soldiers and their families,
Mrs. Katrina Barnhart has positively impacted the lives of Soldiers and their families as well. During multiple deployments, she was the key factor in re-activating the dormant Enlisted Spouses Charitable Organization (ESCO). Her hard work resulted in a significant increase in the ESCO membership which then became a thriving organization that assists Soldiers, families and the local community. Her leadership has been instrumental in successfully promoting Parent to Parent (P2P) programs to provide emotional and informational support to families with children who have special needs, at Fort Carson, Colorado and across the country. When the 4ID reflagged from Fort Hood to Fort Carson, Katrina began the initiative to provide coats to Soldiers and families to help them make the transition from warm Fort Hood to much colder Colorado with greater ease. She is a role model for Army Spouses and her contagious volunteer spirit coupled with her organizational skills have proven be a great asset to the Army family and her local community.
Katrina has also been involved with several other programs and organizations such as the Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) conference, and serving as Advisory Councilmember for her local Commissary/ Exchange. She has also served as Deputy Mayor for Fort Carson, and as a volunteer for Operation Homefront. As recognition for her service to Soldiers and families Katrina has received the Fort Carson Volunteer of the Quarter award, the Fort Carson Columbine Award, Exemplary Volunteer Service Award, and Fort Carson Volunteer of the Year Award.
All four of the Barnhart children are involved in numerous activities, whether it involves the military, community, or a school. Logan Ricketts, a junior at Fountain-Fort Carson High School teaches neighborhood children baseball and skateboarding skills in his free time. Kayleigh Barnhart, a sixth grader at Carson Middle School, has worked with kindergarteners during their reading time for three years, as well as coordinating a fundraiser for Pennies for Patients and Harvest of Love’s food drives. Colton Barnhart, a fifth grader at Abrams Elementary School, has also volunteered for the Harvest of Love food drive. The youngest Barnhart, Brayden is a first grader at Abrams Elementary School, and already enjoys helping others and is learning at a young age to follow in his parents’ and older siblings footsteps to assist others.
The Barnhart Family has demonstrated their strong devotion to serving their military and civilian communities through a number of volunteer programs and activities. They have confirmed their continuing commitment, care and concern through their outreach, efforts and other activities which have positively impacted so many others.. As individuals and as a family, the Barnhart’s show a generosity of spirit and dedication which makes them model representatives for our Army volunteer community. SGT Jeremy Barnhart, Katrina Barnhart, and their children Logan Ricketts, Kayleigh, Colton, and Brayden are truly deserving of the title of AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year.