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Association salutes the 2014 AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The Association of the United States Army selected Sgt. 1st Class Charles Hindbaugh, his wife Virginia, and their six children – Celia, Chalia, Acia, Charles III, Elijah, and Levi – to receive the 2014 AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year Award.

This annual award recognizes an exceptional family whose volunteerism has contributed significantly to the well-being of the Army community and will be presented to the Hindbaughs at the opening ceremony of the Association’s Annual Meeting and Exposition, which takes place Oct. 13-15, in Washington, D.C.

While stationed at Scholfield Barracks from 2011 – 2013, the Hindbaughs helped lead the coordination and marketing efforts while serving as spokespersons for the YMCA Hanai Program.

The Hanai Program ("hanai" means adopt in Hawaiian) unites military families with international families.

The Hindbaughs hosted families from Spain, Uraguay, Paraguay and Colombia and often played host to others who did not have an assigned host family.

Through the Hanai Program, military families from all services were afforded the opportunity to learn more about foreign cultures while sharing their American heritage.

In addition, the Hindbaugh family also volunteered at Operation Military Kids Camp.

Virginia served as marketing coordinator and parent adviser.

Funding for the program had dwindled to the point that the camp was put on the chopping block, but Virginia’s drive and ambition to help the camp succeed inspired many local businesses to donate funds to keep the camp from closing its doors.

The Hindbaughs recently moved to Fort Bliss, Texas, where they continue their service to the community.

Virginia volunteers with the Family Readiness Group in their unit; Chalia started a Relay for Life Team in the unit, raising over $1,000 for the organization; and the Hindbaugh boys volunteer with the Miracle League, a baseball league for special needs kids, as "Angels in the Outfield," ensuring that kids get to their bases.

When asked to describe their family using one word Virginia replied: "Genuine."

She added, "Our love for each other is unconditional but even more, our love for others. Our want and desire to lend a hand and make a difference is an unreserved natural instinct."

Take a few moments to get to know the Hindbaugh family.

 

Q: What has been your favorite duty station? What did or do you like most about it?

A: All our duty stations are our favorite, after we leave. With each duty station, at least one member of the family seems to make lasting friendships while providing contributions to the community that have impacted our lives beyond measure.

Q: What or who inspires you to serve your military community?

A: God – we have been blessed beyond measure through his grace. God was in the planning when our family’s foundation was set and he has always been a part of our lives.

He has provided us the ability to develop talents and wisdom that lead us through life’s challenges.

Serving our military communities just feels good. It’s inspiring, it’s exciting, it’s refreshing, it’s what wakes us up in the morning, keeps us on the computer or phone till all hours of the night and it’s what we yearn for.

We are filled with the spirit and it moves us.

It’s the satisfaction of always having something to do, someone to help, somewhere to be.

On deployment, in garrison, and even when on leave, God is with us and, if God is with us, who can be against us?

 

Q: What do you enjoy most about being a military family?

A: Opportunities. Before the Army, our lives were quaint, but stationary.

As reservists, we were exposed to so many families and soldiers from so many geographical areas and we became active members with the local service organizations that focused on veterans and families.

As an active duty family, we have had the opportunity to live in regions that we never would have experienced, except through magazines or videos.

We have sampled foods and conquered our greatest fears. We learned how to make 18,000 pounds of household goods fit into 1,500 square feet of living space, and we enjoy bringing our family traditions to new neighbors.

We have encountered a vast array of historically significant events and landmarks whose great battles and defenses have formed our country.

We have met survivors of the Bataan Death March, members of the original Band of Brothers, and even movie stars such as Cuba Gooding Jr.

We had friends who we lost in battle and whose names we wear on our wrists in remembrance.

We walked the deck of the great USS Missouri where the end of the Great War was sealed, and we stood in great halls and on solemn ground where heroes are at their final rest.

We know the sounds of reveille and retreat, and all the words to the Star Spangled Banner, the Army Song and our regimental marches.

We love stopping to watch the parachutes carry soldiers safely to the ground, and we take pride in our colors and respect the honor, love and fidelity they represent.

We are excited when we attend Army ceremonies, especially when it means the Army Band is playing and soldiers are carrying guidons.

Because we are a military family we look forward to where we will go next, who we will meet, what we will learn.

Even if it means changing schools and jobs – again.