Irene Ferguson Award Bonnie Amos (wife of past USMC Commandant General James F. Amos, Cyndi Stamps (2014 past recipient), Kimberly Reed 2015
Each year, the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation (FLHF), honors our Marine Corps spouse by hosting the Irene Ferguson Marine Wife Recognition Award ceremony. The Irene Ferguson Award was established to honor and highlight the resiliency, strength, and dedication that a United States Marine Corps wife embodies as she supports our military men and women, families and communities.
Congratulations to Kimberly Reed, the 2015 recipient of the Irene Ferguson Marine Wife Recognition Award. For over nine years, Kimberly has served as a Marine Corps wife alongside her husband Gunnery Sergeant Brian Reed, USMC. Her service uniform would include two “service stripes” and working on her third, along with two “service ribbons” named four year-old Katelyn and seven year-old Mikaela.
Kimberly dedicates her life to the Marine Corps community. She actively volunteers with the San Diego Military Family Collaborative at her children’s school. Kimberly serves as a mentor with the Lifestyles, Insights, Networking, Knowledge and Skills program (L.I.N.K.S.) and the Exceptional Family Member program (EFMP). She is also the Outreach Manager for family days with Lincoln Military Housing and is a “Food Angel” with the L.I.N.K.S. program. Kimberly exemplifies dedication and service to the Marines, her family and the community.
The Irene Ferguson Marine Wife Recognition Award was inspired by USMC Retired Major Glenn Ferguson’s memory of his late, devoted wife, Irene Ferguson. Faithful ninety-three year old, Major Ferguson has attended every ceremony since its conception in 2011 and always takes a moment to personally thank each recipient. This year, Glenn and Irene’s two sons, Glenn and John Ferguson, their granddaughter Catie and their great grandchildren attended to thank and honor Kimberly Reed for her dedication to service, country and family. The commitment of the Ferguson family is a loving representation of Irene’s spirit and the legacy she left behind.
Kimberly Reed was honored to meet Irene Ferguson’s family. She commented, “Their eyes lit up every time they spoke of Irene. She was an exceptional lady and I am proud to be the recipient of the award that honors her memory and service to our country.”
Every Marine knows the toughest job in the Marine Corps is being a Marine wife. Simply put, when you marry a Marine, you marry the Corps. Just as your Marine husband, you are on the call of duty with expected long separations and many re-locations throughout your marriage. The responsibilities of home fall on the spouse left behind. It is a challenging life, and even more so when you have children.
Fortunately, the Marine Corps embrace Marine Wives and their families as their own. Marines take great pride in supporting and honoring them for their service to country and family just as they do with their Marine spouses. An impressive example is the Lifestyles, Insights, Networking, Knowledge and Skills Program (L.I.N.K.S.). L.I.N.K.S. is a Marine Corps Family Team Building program that enhances the readiness of Marines and their families by offering an orientation to the Marine Corps lifestyle.
The few, the proud, the brave, the Marine Corps wife. Kimberly Reed knows the motto all too well. She dedicates her time and experience as a mentor with the L.I.N.K.S. program, encouraging Marine families to stay strong and to excel within the Marine Corps way of life.
Thanks to General James F. Amos, past Commandant of the Marine Corps, new guidance was issued for the Family Readiness programs. L.I.N.K.S classes are now available to Marines, their spouses, parents and children, to give all Marines and their loved ones the support they need.
In the past, little recognition was given to the trials and tribulations of the service wife who made it possible for her husband to pursue his service career for the benefit of our nation. In the last decade, the stress and strain on the family has perhaps been greater than ever before. The Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation strongly believes community support and public awareness of the service and sacrifice of the military wife and family is important.
The Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation created the Irene Ferguson Marine Wife Recognition Award in memory of Irene Ferguson, wife of Major Glenn Ferguson, United States Marine Corps (Retired).
The spirit of this award is captured in the words of Major Glenn Ferguson:
“My wife’s passing gave me pause to reflect on the nearly six and a half wonderful decades we shared together. In doing so, I realized that in all the museums I had visited, all the parks I had walked through, and all the buildings I had been in, none included a tribute honoring the life of commitment and sacrifice made by service wives in support of their husbands. Their men frequently left for distant lands where they usually lead busy lives; sometimes in exciting or dangerous times. Many were awarded medals and received accolades from their fellow servicemen. Their feats were often extolled in the newspapers and magazines. Unsung were the wives left behind. These steadfast women nurtured and educated their children, cared for them in times of sickness, and soothed their fears when daddy was gone. There are no medals or monuments to attest to their trials, tribulations, and victories.
If you would like to nominate a Marine Corp wife for the “The Irene Ferguson Marine Wife Recognition Award”, visit: https://www.flyingleathernecks.org/marine-wives-award/
Nominations should be submitted for a United States Marine Corps wife recognized for her strength of character, personal sacrifice and commitment to family, community, and country. Nominations may be submitted by supporting agencies but may not be submitted by nominee’s Husband and/or Command.
Applications will be accepted and reviewed by the Award Committee appointed by the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation.
The Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation would like to thank our previous recipients for their outstanding service to family, the Marine Corps and country:
2014: Cyndi Stamps https://www.flyingleathernecks.org/marine-wife-award-2014-cyndi-stamps/
2013: Jamie Weathers https://www.flyingleathernecks.org/marine-wife-award-2013-jamie-weathers/
2012: Sasha Lightfoot https://www.flyingleathernecks.org/marine-wife-award-2012-sasha-lightfoot/
2011: Rachael Wunderlich https://www.flyingleathernecks.org/marine-wife-award-2011-rachael-wunderlich/
By CJ Machado