Cannon to announce Family of Year

Cannon Connections photo: Liliana Castillo Britta and Maj. Kevin Martin and their children, 3-year-old Jensen, bottom left, and 5-year-old Devynn, were named Family of the Year at Cannon Air Force Base last year. Britta and Kevin said they appreciated the award but they don’t do anything Air Force families shouldn’t do normally.

By Argen Duncan: Cannon Connections

An award that shows how military families make the best of their situation.

That’s what Cannon Air Force Base Airman and Family Readiness Center Chief Cynthia Friday-Allison called the Family of the Year Award. She expects to announce this year’s recipients Dec. 1.

This year is the fourth for the base-wide award that recognizes active-duty personnel.

“I think the special part is the families just feel very honored to have that special recognition and know they’re made that difference,” Friday-Allison, a retired military spouse, said.

Military families have special challenges, and the award motivates them to continue their good work, she said.

Maj. Kevin Martin, his wife, Britta, and their children, 5-year-old Devynn and 3-year-old Jensen, are last year’s Family of the Year.

“It’s very humbling,” Britta said, adding that it was almost embarrassing because she didn’t think her family did anything beyond what military families normally should.

Kevin said the award was an honor even though his family never aimed for it and he thinks their service is the rule rather than the exception.

The Martins were among the first families to move from Florida in 2007. According to the letter that nominated them, they allowed new personnel to stay at their house, represented Kevin’s squadron, produced an eight-page document on what Clovis had to offer, organized social functions and otherwise supported military members and their families.

Since receiving the honor, Kevin said, he’s scrutinized at himself and his actions more. Britta said she saw the award as a “pat on the back” that reinforced the benefit of what her family was doing.

The Family of the Year award is part of Military Family Month every November. Friday-Allison said it shows how any duty station can be a good experience if personnel reach out and get involved.

“It’s what you make it, what you choose to make it,” she said.

This year, Cannon personnel were invited to submit nominations in mid-October.

Friday-Allison said a selection committee of military members and civilians reviews the nomination letters and picks a family. Then, the wing commander presents the family with a plaque or, as is the case this year, a trophy, in front of the base leadership.