A woman to look up to. A woman to emulate. Every year the American Legion Auxiliary seeks to honor a leader and motivator with its Woman of the Year Award. First presented in 1984, the Woman of the Year Award has been conferred on the famous and the relatively unknown, including political leaders and astronauts, editors and singers, First Ladies and members of the military, social advocates and writers. The impact of their work or their advocacy is great and aligns with the mission of the Auxiliary, to serve veterans, their families, and their communities. The Woman of the Year Award is presented at the Auxiliary’s national convention.2013 Woman of the Year Military wife and advocate Patricia “Patty” Shinseki has been named the 2013 American Legion Auxiliary Woman of the Year for her positive impact on the quality of life for active-duty military servicemembers, veterans and their families.
Patty is married to Eric K. Shinseki, current Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and retired U.S. Army General. As an Army spouse for 38 years, Patty Shinseki has devoted much of her time to volunteering in schools, Family Readiness Groups, the American Red Cross, the Army Community Service, Thrift Shops, the Arlington Ladies, Army Family Team Building and spouse development initiatives, among other military family programs and priorities.
“Patty Shinseki’s work with military families, Army medical care services, and military children perfectly aligns with the mission and programs of the American Legion Auxiliary,” said ALA National President Peggy Thomas. “Because she exemplifies the very best in support for our American heroes, it is indeed an honor to present Patty Shinseki with the American Legion Auxiliary 2013 Woman of the Year award.”
Shinseki received the Auxiliary’s prestigious award Aug. 27 at its 93rd national convention in Houston. The Woman of the Year award presentation was held at a luncheon sponsored by Quadriga Art. Previous recipients include L. Tammy Duckworth, assistant secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, former first lady Laura Bush, country music artist Barbara Mandrell and humorist/author Erma Bombeck.
Shinseki, a native of Kauai, Hawaii, graduated from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., with bachelor’s degrees in both biology and sociology. She earned a master’s degree in biological science education from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. She taught biology and physical science in high schools in Hawaii and served as a substitute teacher for Department of Defense Schools overseas.
She has served on the Boards of the Armed Services YMCA, The Army Distaff Foundation, Army Emergency Relief, and has provided assistance and support to other organizations serving military families. She currently serves on the Advisory Boards of the Armed Forces Amputee Care Program at Walter Reed Military Medical Center, The Military Child Education Coalition, and The Citizen-Soldier Support Program. She is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, recruited by National President Thomas.
Established in 1984, the Woman of the Year Award recognizes outstanding women who exemplify the values and ideals of the American Legion Auxiliary, particularly those whose contributions advance the quality of life for America’s military, veterans, and their families. Criteria & Selection
*Given as the "Lifetime Achievement Award"
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"Just knowing an organization like the American Legion Auxiliary exists, providing support to our military and our families even when we're gone, makes a world of difference."
- ALA member and Indiana National Guard Col. Marilyn Moores