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Pryor Family Named 2009 Ohio Adjutant General's Family of the Year

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jessica Q. Hill
  • 179AW Public Affairs - Journalist
     Chief Master Sgt. Joseph Pryor, his wife, Master Sgt. Sheila Pryor, and their family were recently named as the 2009 Ohio Adjutant General's Family of the Year. They were nominated for the work they do in support of the 179th Airlift Wing (AW) and the 200th RED HORSE (RH).
     According to Faline Rowland, 179 AW Airman and Family Readiness Program Manager, who nominated the Pryors, the family stood out because of their strong devotion to the units.  "They are always at all of the event, helping out in any way that they can, and always asking if there is more that they can do," Rowland said.
     Showing her typical humbleness, Master Sgt. Pryor said of winning the award, "I am so very proud for my husband to receive such an amazing honor while he is deployed." Chief Master Sgt. Pryor is current deployed with the 200 RH troops in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Southeast Asia. According to his wife, Chief Master Sgt. Pryor's response to the honor was simply, "This is what we do."
     "We are just truly proud to be a small part of the amazing things that our unit represents. Our son [Senior Airman Jarrod Pryor] is part of the unit, our daughter [Karissa Pryor] is working with recruiting now to join, and our youngest [Macey Pryor] cannot wait to graduate; as she is planning on Active Duty Air Force. We all greatly enjoy getting the chance to get involved and make a difference," Master Sgt. Pryor stated.
     Rowland said the Pryors make her job easier by always being ready and waiting. "I ask and they are there. What more can you ask for," she noted.
     During the year for which they were nominated, Master Sgt. Pryor deployed for four months in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Noble Eagle (ONE); leaving behind her husband and daughter, Macey. During this time, Chief Master Sgt. Pryor continued to support families of the 179 AW and the 200 RH while preparing for his own upcoming seven month deployment. 
     Upon Master Sgt. Pryor's return, Chief and Macey helped with the Welcome Home Ceremony, which marked the return of more than 80 members of the 179 AW from their deployment. While military members in-processed, they spent time bonding with the families while providing them lunch and comforting conversation.
     In July, Master Sgt. Pryor and Macey worked with the Family Readiness Group on the annual summer "Fun in the Sun" event held at Infield in Lexington. The event was a huge success with attendance of more than 600 military members and their families. She was also an instrumental organizer in the 2010 MLMF Scholarship Golf Outing. Additionally, her creative fliers and e-mails ensured a memorable Annual Children's Christmas party; which was attended by more than 250 children and their families. 
     As the time grew near for Chief Master Sgt. Pryor to deploy, Master Sgt. Pryor again stepped up to the plate; however this time it was to help form the new Family Readiness Group for the 200th RED HORSE Sq., Det. 1. With her Family Readiness knowledge, caring nature and outgoing personality, Master Sgt. Pryor was the perfect person to help these military members and their families, according to Rowland. "Not many families are that committed," she said.
     Even with their level of commitment and willingness to be on-call when needed, the Pryors wish they could do more. Master Sgt. Pryor said, "I only wish there were more hours in the day to do more for our families. When a military member is deployed, the greatest thing we can do is ease their minds so they can focus on the mission."
     When asked to describe what Family Programs means to her, Master Sgt. Pryor said, "[It is] making sure their family members have support and resources made available to them. Being part of it is so humbling." she said. "We get to meet so many amazing families! And just one little smile at an event that takes weeks to plan, negotiate, navigate and organize becomes priceless in my heart. I am blessed to be able to help."
     Rowland pointed out that this is not the first time the 179 AW has been recognized with an Adjutant General's award. She said that the wing has won Commander of the Year twice, Liaison of the Year, Family Readiness Group of the Year, and now Family of the Year.
     "Stop and think about it, the competition is huge between the four wings and GSUs [Geographically Separated Units]," Rowland said. "[The state has] great programs and we all have great people; but this year, our Family was the best."
     Rowland said she is very excited the Pryors were awarded such a great honor and predicts this will not be an isolated occurrence. She hopes to see more 179 AW and 200 RH winners recognized in the future.