(Nov. 18, 2011) -- The Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) Family Programs Directorate recently honored UTSA student Jeremy Barnhart, his wife Katrina Barnhart and their children Logan Ricketts, Kayleigh Barnhart, Colton Barnhart and Brayden Barnhart as the 2011 recipients of the AUSA Volunteer Family of Year Award. The award recognizes exceptional families whose volunteerism has contributed significantly to the well being of the Army community.
As recipients of this year's AUSA award, the Barnhart family received a trip to Washington, D.C., a cash prize and a gift basket courtesy of TriWest, AUSA and other sponsors.
A UTSA senior biology major, Jeremy Barnhart is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and is a Purple Heart recipient because of severe wounds suffered in Baghdad, Iraq. Upon his return to Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Barnhart immersed himself in volunteer activities. He served as the noncommissioned officer in charge and musical director of Fort Carson's Harmony in Motion.
He gave time to the local Tragedy Assistance Program (TAPS) and spent numerous hours mentoring young people about life and career choices, as they make the transition from juvenile correctional facilities. Barnhart also enjoys serving as a youth soccer coach and a volunteer cub master and den leader with the Cub Scouts. He coordinated the "Make a Difference Day," volunteered at National Night Out, and participates with Thanksgiving pumpkin and toy give-a-way programs during the holidays.
"After being wounded in Iraq, I had a long recovery process that is still ongoing," said Barnhart. "Volunteering to help Army families and the community in general really makes me feel like I can do something worthwhile, even if I can't go back to the fight. Helping others has a healing effect on me, and I would encourage anyone to find opportunities in their communities to help out. It makes me feel good to give back to all the people who have given so much to me."
Katrina Barnhart has helped the lives of soldiers and their families as well. While her husband was deployed multiple times, she was the key person in re-activating the dormant Enlisted Spouses Charitable Organization (ESCO) that became a thriving organization to assist soldiers, families and the local community. Her leadership was instrumental in promoting Parent-to-Parent (P2P) programs to provide emotional and informational support for families with special-needs children at Fort Carson, Colo., and across the country.
When the 4ID was moved from Fort Hood, Texas, to Fort Carson, Katrina began the initiative to provide coats for soldiers and families to help them make the transition from the warm climate of Central Texas to the much colder temperatures in Colorado.
"Being an Army spouse is tough and lonely at times, but getting out into the community helps you to meet new people and become a part of something better," she said. "Volunteering is a way of making your community a better place to live in, and it gives you a sense of purpose."
The UTSA community welcomes students to their on-campus home! Laurel Village, Chaparral Village and Alvarez Hall are home for 2,300 students during the academic year, and Move-In event kicks off the start of Roadrunner Days.
Laurel Village, Chaparral Village, Alvarez Hall, Main Campus
The College of Engineering hosts this seminar featuring Jeff Adams, Southwest Zone Quality Manager, Siemens Building Technologies Division. The event is free and open to the public.
Engineering Building (EB 3.04.30), Main Campus
This is a terrific opportunity for incoming transfer students to network with staff that serve our veteran, non-traditional, and transferring students, as well as meet transfer peer mentors who can help answer questions about UTSA.
Main Building ground floor lobby, Main Campus
After a day full of moving and getting settled into their new UTSA home, students and their families can have some refreshments and snacks at the Welcome Back Reception. The event tops off with the premiere performance of the Spirit of San Antonio, UTSA's Marching Band.
University Center Paseo, Main Campus
Can you survive the library wilderness? As a part of Roadrunner Days, UTSA Libraries is hosting a mobile adventure for you to play and find out more about the library!
John Peace Library, 2nd floor, Main Campus
Come meet your UTSA Volleyball Team as they gear up for the 2017 season! The game begins at 5 p.m. then the team will hold an autograph and photo session after the game.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
This engaging discussion pulls back the covers on hooking up, clarifying when it’s actually sexual violence and how bystanders can protect potential victims from predators.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
Late Night at the Rec is an awesome UTSA tradition that transforms a standard information session into an exciting night of fun. At this annual event, you’ll be able to learn about our facilities, recreation programs, and wellness services offered at Main and Downtown Campuses.
Recreation and Wellness Center, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.