Family With 188th Fighter Wing Receives National Honor

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) - A Fort Smith family will be given top honors from the Air National Guard in a ceremony held Wednesday (August 13)

Retired SMSgt. Scott Barr, his wife Cindy, and their sons Isaak and Andrew will receive the International Guard Family of the Year Award.

"Its unbelievable, it really is,"said Cindy. "I'm so proud to be representing the 188th and its just a huge honor."

Barr began his career with the National Guard in 1992.  His career with the 188th Fighter Wing ended with his retirement in May 2013, but Barr stayed on as a key volunteer.

"Several deployments to Iraq, twice to Afghanistan, it was a good experience, "said Scott.

However, his retirement did not mark the end of Scott's time or his family's time with the flying razorbacks. "I've been a key volunteer for about the last two years and it has been a wonderful experience," said Cindy.

Key volunteers help care for the families left behind while their soldiers are deployed. "We are a community based organization, "said Major Heath Allen with the 188th Fighter Wing. "Those individuals that work here also work in the community so this is just a testament to that volunteerism spirit within the River Valley."

Cindy said she's just glad he's back home in Fort Smith. Their two boys are learning to follow in their father's footsteps. And the 188th was honored that Scott was able to be part of their mission. "Service is a part of life, not an option, its a necessity and its something that they must do as well," said Cindy.

"The 188th is honored that the Barr family and their exceptional accomplishments are being recognized in this fashion," said Allen. "Its big for the unit and for the community and its good for our unit members to see their hard work is being recognized at this level."

General Frank Grass, Chief of the National Guard, will present the award at a ceremony in Norman, Oklahoma.