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.
Founded in 1919, the American Legion Auxiliary is the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization. With a membership of nearly 800,000, local American Legion Auxiliary units have a strong presence in more than 9,000 communities nationwide. The American Legion Auxiliary’s mission to serve veterans, the military and their families is carried out through its hundreds of outreach programs delivered by its members, volunteers and National Headquarters.###
"Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in."—Marjorie Moore, Belleville, Ill.