2012 Volunteer Family of the Year 

The Association of the United States Army Family Programs Directorate was pleased to award the 2012 AUSA Volunteer Family of Year Award to Captain William Mendelsohn and family of the 224th Sustainment Brigade, California Army National Guard, during the 2012 AUSA Annual Meeting.

Congratulations to CPT Mendelsohn, his wife, Debra, and their two children, Emelie and Douglas for their outstanding contributions to their military and civilian communities.

Captain William Mendelsohn sets a high standard for public service and volunteerism as he has served for over 25 years as a mentor, leader and trainer for the Boy Scouts of America. Additionally, he has served as a Cub Scout Den Leader for his son’s Pack and Assistant Scoutmaster for the past four and a half years.

When CPT Mendelsohn was deployed to Iraq in 2011, he made arrangements to attend a scout meeting via Skype. He briefed the boys on the challenges that deployed Soldiers face, inspired their continued progress on rank advancement, and maintained his bond with the scout troop.

He fully supports and encourages his Family Readiness Group’s volunteer activities and shared in the pride as the 224th Sustainment Brigade’s FRG was awarded the Adjutant General’s Award for Excellence in Family Readiness.

Debra Mendelsohn has positively impacted the lives of Soldiers and their families as well through her volunteerism. She is an active California National Guard (CNG) Family Readiness volunteer, serving as one of the lead volunteers for the Army component of the CNG. During

her husband’s deployment to Iraq, she also served as the BN FRG Leader for STB, 224th SB where she supported over 300 families.

Debra was recognized twice by the Greater Los Angeles Chapter GLAC-AUSA with Volunteer of the Year appreciation awards, received the U.S. Army Quartermaster Regiment’s Catherine Greene Award, Department of the Army Commander’s Award for Public Service, Department of the Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service, the California Commendation medal, among others.

Debra Volunteers as a member for the GLAC-AUSA’s Executive Board where she currently serves on the Army Ball Planning Committee. Along with her children, she also founded the Claremont Heroes Military Appreciation Program where she raised over $45,000 in community donations to fund a banner program recognizing the service of Active Duty personnel and veterans in Claremont, CA.

Furthermore, over the past decade, Debra has also served as a Little League Team mom, Girl Scout Leader, Cub Scout Den Leader and a member of her synagogue’s Board of Trustees.

The Mendelsohn children are also heavily involved in numerous activities, whether it involves the military, community or school.

Emelie (17) has worked alongside with her mom at various FRG functions to support Soldiers and Families. During her dad’s deployment to Iraq, Emelie recruited friends to help secure donations of supplies and set up a craft booth during the unit holiday party where she entertained children of deployed Soldiers. Last year, she volunteered over 250 hours on productions at her high school theater earning a prestigious slot in the Thespian Honor Society. She volunteered in the "Best Bud’s" Program serving as a mentor for physically and mentally challenged Claremont High School students. Emelie has also earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award in recognition of her leadership and community service. In 2005, Emeilie was named the City of Claremont’s Community Hero for her volunteer work in establishing a community based military appreciation program.

Douglas Mendelsohn (15) is an active volunteer as well. He earned his Eagle Scout rank in Boy Scouts in 2011, overseeing a community service project incorporating over 291 hours of volunteer service to build an Israeli dodge ball court at Temple Beth Israel in Pomona, CA. He was selected to represent the Boy Scouts of America as a member of the 2012 Tournament of Roses Honor Troop where he escorted Wounded Warrior J. R. Martinez in the Tournament of Roses Parade. He continues his selflessness as he volunteered as a bugler at a variety of scouting and community programs. For his bar mitzvah community service project, Douglas raised over $1,500 for holiday care packages for deployed Service members, in addition to donating children’s books and cash to support USO’s United Through Reading Program. In 2005, Douglas was named the Claremont Community Hero for his work establishing the Claremont Heroes military appreciation program.

The Mendelsohn’s show a generosity of spirit and dedication which makes them model representatives for our Army volunteer community. You truly exemplify Family Strong-Army Strong!