2021 Volunteer Family of the Year
The AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year Award for promoting the well-being of soldiers and their family members is presented to the family of Sgt. 1st Class Justin Dixon of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Dixon and his wife, Tawni, who have a 10-month-old son named Cameron, spend hundreds of hours volunteering and giving back to the military community, said Ariel Aponte, president of AUSA’s Braxton Bragg chapter, in nominating the Dixons for the award.
“Both members currently volunteer for their local community, the Fort Bragg community and unit programs above and beyond what would be expected,” she said.
In the last two years, Justin Dixon, who’s serving as a first sergeant in his unit, has volunteered more than 350 hours of his time. He founded a Facebook outreach group for veterans to connect and go fishing together; works to provide fishing trips and equipment to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and physical disabilities; and plans fishing trips for wounded warriors from the Fort Bragg area.
Tawni Dixon has volunteered more than 600 hours, including working with the Armed Services YMCA to organize canned food drives and raise money for hygiene items for families in need, and initiating the Junior Paratrooper of the Year Dependent Award, which recognizes high school dependents of 82nd Airborne soldiers for their volunteer work.
She also served as a Soldier and Family Readiness Group leader, organizing events for families when their soldiers were deployed and raising money throughout the unit’s deployment, collecting more than $7,000 in donations for single soldiers and 151 care packages for the soldiers’ return home.
Tawni Dixon also volunteers with the 82nd Airborne Division’s integration course, answering questions and helping families new to the division and Fort Bragg, and has worked with a local Girl Scout troop to raise money for cookies for paratroopers.
The Dixons were the Military Family of the Year for North Carolina in 2021 and the Fort Bragg Family of the Year in 2020, Aponte said.
They have both “demonstrated outstanding leadership in planning and organizing major events that have resulted in tangible benefits to both their community and Army families stationed at Fort Bragg as well as across the nation,” Aponte said.