Seidl family is the 2017 AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year

Seidl family is the 2017 AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Association of the U.S. Army has announced that this year’s recipients of the AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year Award, that acknowledges outstanding efforts to promote the well-being of soldiers and families, is presented to Sgt. 1st Class Eryn Seidl, an Army civilian and Army Reserve retiree; his wife, Anja; mother-in-law, Thekla Oelschegel; and their three children, Marco, Zachary and Annabella.

The Seidls reside in the Kaiserslautern Military Community where Eryn, who retired after 21 years of service, became involved with his family in volunteering. As a family that is clearly driven by helping others, their effect on the community took root immediately.

Retired Sgt. 1st Class Eryn Seidl, USAR, an Army civilian employee, his wife, Anju, mother-in-law, Thekla Oelschegel, and children Annabella, Zachary and Marco (not pictured) are recognized for promoting the well-being of soldiers and families.

Eryn helps with the planning, logistics and labor of most of the events in the community. Mrs. Oelschegel has been the backbone of all the events, contributing valuable planning ideas and organization. Her baking and German background are special touches.

Marco assists with decoration, planning details and execution. Zachary and Annabella routinely assist to ensure everyone is enjoying themselves.

Anja works tirelessly to organize volunteers, tackle complex tasks and deliver events that make the community more cohesive and proud. She sets an example of enthusiasm, drive and determination, and has established programs to elevate communication between soldiers and families by strengthening relationships in six countries.

The Seidl family has received a great deal of recognition for their commitment to service. Eryn has received the U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Certificate of Appreciation and the 7th Mission Support Command Certificate of Appreciation.

Anja has received various Certificates of Appreciation from the 7th Support Command and 
U.S. Army Rheinland-Pfalz, as well as being a Volunteer of the Year Finalist at U.S. Army Garrison 
Rheinland-Pfalz for two years, and the President’s Volunteer Service Award-Bronze.

Both Zachary and Annabella have been recognized with certificates of appreciation and achievement from the U.S. Army Garrison, as well.

In 2016 the Seidl family received the 7th Mission Support Command’s Volunteer Family of the Year award.

But for the Seidl family, it’s not about awards or recognition. They emphasize that service to the Army and to the community at large is its own reward.

If you ask the Seidls what they’ve given, they’ll tell you what they’ve received. They mention how much they love the feeling of fellowship and they share how they value the like-mindedness of others who prioritize service and sacrifice.

They acknowledge how privileged they feel to have the opportunity to work and serve with some of the best people our country has to offer. They remind you that military life demands a lot from us and that there are times when you’ll be the one needing help, and when you have the opportunity to help to others.

All this means that it’s no accident that there is such a great intergenerational commitment to volunteerism found in this family. And, they have been very deliberate in creating a love for serving others in their children.

Their secret? Include your kids in everything you do. By your example, make volunteering the norm versus the exception. Eryn, Anja, and Mrs. Oelschegel have provided a spectacular example for the Seidl children.

Through consistent volunteer work and a dedication to service, the Seidls have shown exemplary willingness to tirelessly help others.

It is with sincere gratitude and appreciation that the Association of the United States Army presents its Volunteer Family of the Year Award to this remarkable Army family.

AUSA thanks our Silver Star sponsor, Health Net Federal Services, for its generous support of this award.