Osky News Presents Citizen Of The Week

Shelly Spaur at Air Force Staff Sgt. Joseph J. Hamski Funeral June 4, 2011

Oskaloosa, Iowa- Many times, people who deserve to be recognized for their actions are not. Whether it be because they don’t want to be recognized or if they are simply over looked, it has been known to happen. That is why we, here at Osky News, are creating a citizen of the week award. Each week we will recognize a person for their volunteerism. To do this, we need your help. We are asking for you to nominate someone you know that deserves this award.

To nominate a person, we ask that the nominee live within the immediate Osky News coverage area (Wapello, Japser, Poweshiek, Monroe, Keokuk, Marion, and Mahaska Counties), and that you include a brief description of their activities. We will then select the recipient and we will run a feature on that person. The Citizen of the Week Award will appear each Friday on Osky News.

Our first recipient of this this award goes to a person who works tirelessly for the military families in our area.

Shelly Spaur donates countless hours of her time, miles on her vehicle and the gas to fill it by helping to represent and take care of our local National Guard soldiers and their families.

Her dedication to the soldiers was evident when, just about to give birth, she was driving food and water to the troops as they helped to sandbag along the Des Moines River just a few years ago. She actually went into labor at the armory during that time.

During the floods, she was not only delivering, but coordinating donations from places like Hy-Vee and Fareway or Pepsi, who donated an entire truck of drinking water. “I would kind of go between Des Moines and Keokuk along the river to where the soldiers were dropping stuff off,” says Spaur, who thinks she put several thousand miles on her car that week making deliveries for the National Guard members.

Spaur, who is part of the Family Readiness Group, helps to coordinate activities for Oskaloosa’s own unit, no matter if it’s a Christmas Party, or a BBQ or any other event that helps to bring the soldier and the families together.

She goes on to explain that local business have been most generous with the local unit in helping to provide items for prizes or cash contributions to help make the local Christmas Party a success. Each soldier was given a meat package, such as brats and hamburger, at this past year’s party.

Spaur’s husband is also an Iowa National Guard member, and she points out why those gatherings are important beyond just the day’s fun. “We need to connect whenever we can, so that way when our soldier does deploy, we have some type of support system that understand what we’re going through, because most people in the community don’t get it, they don’t know what you live being a soldiers spouse, what it’s like.”

“You’re there to support the family, because if the family’s OK, the soldiers gonna be alright,” Spaur says of a reason why she helps to volunteer. “If the soldier’s deployed, the last thing they need to worry about is what’s happening with their family back home. So if we make sure the families are OK, then the soldiers can concentrate on what they have to get done.”

Spaur remembers fondly stories of making pulled pork sandwiches one day from meat donated by Leighton Process Meats. She had a weak stomach that day, and she had gotten sick several times, and every time that happened, the soldiers helping out started laughing even more at her and the condition she was in. “I will not do pulled pork sandwiches like that again. It was awful,” Spaur added with a smile. She says she still gets teased by the soldiers over that day.

Shelly also makes it a point to be at every funeral and homecoming for a soldier or unit that she can possibly be to. This of course is all voluntary, but she wants to be there for the families as she knows she would want them there if the roles were reversed.

When the staff at Osky News came up with the idea of a Citizen of the Week, Shelly was one of the first I thought of. Her selfless sacrifice to the soldiers of Iowa is immense. She is the type that everything is for the soldier, and what she doesn’t matter. To me, that is exactly why she deserves to be the first recipient of this award.

From all of us at Osky News, thank you Shelly for your service to our soldiers and their families.


Posted by on Jul 29 2011. Filed under Clubs and Organizations, Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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