2018 Most Deserving Military Family Finalists
All the nominees were well-deserving, and we appreciate the time they took to enter our contest!
I nominate my husband. I know technically that's like me nominating myself... But, my husband is truly deserving of this! He is an army chaplain in the Georgia National Guard. The burdens and struggles he bears for his soldiers is real. Most of the time he carries a heavy load, but never complains. He's always said that he has been "called to minister to soldiers", so that's what he does. He gives to them selflessly, then comes home and gives to his family all that he has left. He is such an honorable husband, father, soldier and chaplain. He really deserves the opportunity for just a little recognition (and relaxation) for all he does and gives of himself!
Tech Seargent DeGroff has served 9 years in the Marine Corps doing Search and Rescue and 5 years in the Georgia Air National Guard as a Flight Engineer in Savannah on C130s. While Danny was deployed to Iraq, his home in Newnan burned to the ground with everything they owned including their cars. His wife and their 3 children barely got out in time. It has been a very stressful and difficult time for us as we put their lives back together. A vacation would be a tremendous blessing to our family.
You asked for nominations for a deserving military FAMILY. I can think of one military FAMILY that by far deserves and could greatly benefit from a family vacation. Retired MSG Mark Allen and his FAMILY are true American Heroes. On July 8, 2009 Retired MSG Mark Allen was critically wounded south of Kabul in Afghanistan while searching for Bowe Bergdahl. His injuries did not necessarily kill him, but they robbed him and his family of being able to live a "normal" life. Retired MSG Mark Allen is unable to talk, take care of himself, etc. and requires constant medical attention. Throughout this ordeal, his wife, Shannon and their 2 kids have never left his side. Shannon has put her life on hold to ensure that Retired MSG Mark Allen is cared for as well as ensuring her kids are not missing out on all that life has to offer. While Retired MSG Mark Allen went above and beyond the call of duty by putting his life on the line, his wife and family have also gone above and beyond the call of duty by taking such good care of him and making sure that he knows he is loved. Shannon is actively involved in helping other wounded warriors and is in my eyes also a true American hero. When one commits to serving his or her country, they also sign their family up to serve as well. I can't think of another family that has served this country more lovingly, selflessly, and patriotically than the Allen family. What an honor it would be to send this family on a much deserved vacation where they can focus on making memories with their 10 year old daughter and escaping the confines of their house that they must stay in more so than not due to Retired MSG Allen's injuries. God truly blessed this country when he called Retired MSG Allen to serve us and He undoubtedly blessed him when he sent Shannon to be his wife. Yes, we all know there are risks involved with being a military family. However, the Allen family not only willingly took those risks, but they are now unselfishly living out the reality of those risks. Not a day goes by that Shannon doesn't focus on the positive and do her best to make sure Retired MSG Allen knows that even though he may be different physically, he's still her husband and our American hero.
nominate Michael Hilliard and his family. Michael was in the infantry and while serving in Iraq, he was shot in the head by a sniper. He rehabilitated at Walter Reed then later rejoined his unit. He re-enlisted and went to Afganistan with his unit. After his tour, he served for a few more years then medically retired.
After getting out, he struggled with finding his purpose and found scuba diving to help. He started working at the GA Aquarium, and later with the Veterans immersion program through them. He was able to help other veterans, struggling to find their peace too, and this is when he found his true passion..helping other veterans.
Major Anrae Moultrie and Lieutenant Colonel Denise Moultrie
It is an honor and a pleasure to nominate a true military family. My cousin Major Anrae Moultrie and his wife, Lieutenant Colonel Denise Moultrie, are both recently retired from the United States Army after serving 23 and 20 years, respectively. As career military officers, they have both been deployed to war zones. Both are healthcare professionals and have undoubtedly assisted in providing medical and surgical care which helped ensure many other military veterans were able to return home to their families. I am very proud of them both.
In addition to committing the last two decades of their lives to serving our country, they are also great parents to their two children. Their son just graduated from high school in May of 2018 and will be attending a university in Atlanta in the fall. The family is in the process of relocating to the Atlanta Metro area and our family members are looking forward to spending time with them.
The Moultrie's are a family that has sacrificed so much. When I listen to the many adjustments they have made over the last two decades, I am both proud and sad. For example, Christmas was not always in December for them. If one of them was to be deployed to a war zone during the holiday, they celebrated the holidays together prior to deployment. As such, they might celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas in June if one of them was schedule to be deployed in November and December.
The family has had to make lots of life adjustments. Fortunately, they were never deployed at the same time so at least one parent was always home with the children. However, whichever parent was left home still faced the challenges of continuing to be a soldier while being a temporary, single parent and missing the deployed spouse.
The two children are also very deserving of recognition. They have been good students. The son graduated from high school with honors. Both children have been inspirations and sources of support to their parents, especially during deployments. They have been strong and had faith that the deployed parent would return home safely. I imagine it has been very challenging for both children as they sacrificed, too. I think they deserve just as much acknowledgement as their parents.
At the end of June, this family will all finally and consistently be together in one home. Please help me welcome them to the Atlanta area and thank them for all their service and sacrifices. While many military families have sacrificed a lot, the Moultrie's were a family with both parents in the military. They have endured and survived multiple deployments to war zones and are retiring as a strong, intact family.
Thank you for considering the Moultrie family as recipients for the 2018 Montlick & Associates' Most Deserving Military Family Contest.