2009 Military Fatherhood Award™
We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2009 Military Fatherhood Award™, presented by Lockheed Martin: Chief Quartermaster John Lehnen of the U.S. Navy. Singer/Songwriter John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting was also recognized with a Fatherhood Award™ at the 2009 ceremony.
Chief Quartermaster John Lehnen of the U.S. Navy
dedicated husband and father of four special needs children, with over
10 years of military service, Chief Quartermaster John Lehnen has shown
extraordinary dedication to his family and his country.
Right from the start, John has been passionately involved in his
children's lives. When Kathryne (now 8) and triplets Lindsey, Jacob,
and Isaac (now 5) were born prematurely, John visited them in the NICU
every day. In the following years, Jacob underwent multiple
neurosurgeries, the kids went through various rehabilitation therapies
and Jennifer had major surgery. Somehow John managed to be present for
each event while fulfilling a rigorous military schedule. Over the
years, John has always made time to correct homework assignments, play,
read books, provide love and support, and be an exemplary role model to
to deployment, John spends time helping the kids to process their fears
and concerns about him leaving and he works hard to stay close during
separation. He videotapes himself reading the kid's favorite books,
helps them decorate a "daddy jar" filled with special gifts for each
day he is deployed, and regularly sends postcards and emails to simply
say, "I'm thinking of you and I love you." In the weeks after
homecoming, John sits down with each child to review the journals they
kept while he was gone.
devoted to his family, Chief Lehnen also cares deeply about his fellow
sailors and their families. John encourages young sailors to
participate in the United Through Reading campaign and family readiness
groups. When sailors deploy, he offers ideas to keep them engaged with
their families as they complete their mission. He is usually the first
person to offer a meal, childcare for an evening, or a listening ear
for a family in need. John also serves his fellow Sailors as an Alcohol
and Drug Abuse Management Supervisor (ADAMS) and a Morale, Welfare and
Recreation (MWR) fund custodian.
As a testament to his military service, Chief Lehnen has received multiple
awards including: Sailor of the Quarter and Navy-Corps Achievement and
Commendation Medals. However, the greatest compliment to Chief Lehnen
is what his wife, Jennifer, and children have to say about him.
Jennifer states, "I am honored and blessed to call John my husband! His
perseverance and dedication to our family have enabled us to triumph
over the many obstacles we have faced." When asked what makes their
father so special, the Lehnen children said, "Daddy helps people
everyday but he always has time to play and read with us. Daddy teaches
us things we need to know when we grow up to be good people and do good
things for our friends and family!"
For his ongoing
commitment and dedication to his wife and children, for his
extraordinary efforts to father from a distance during military
separation, for successfully balancing a thriving military career with
a busy family life, and for his efforts to mentor and strengthen other
military fathers and military children, National Fatherhood Initiative
is thrilled to honor Chief Quartermaster John Lehnen with the 2009
Military Fatherhood Award™.
Chief Quartermaster John Lehnen
and his family will be honored at this year's Military Fatherhood
Award™ Ceremony on June 9th in Washington, D.C. by National Fatherhood
Initiative, Lockheed Martin and other special guests and sponsors.
Singer/Songwriter John Ondrasik
Singer/songwriter John Ondrasik has spent the past decade writing deeply personal songs that include social messages, invoke the human spirit, and make an emotional connection. This can be heard on the past four albums by Five For Fighting, the band name under which he records and performs.
Five For Fighting's breakthrough came in 2001 with the Grammy-nominated song "Superman” from the Platinum-certified "America Town" CD.
In 2004, he recorded the Platinum-certified album “The Battle For Everything” which yielded the retrospective hit, “100 Years.” With the 2006 release of “Two Lights,” Ondrasik continued to craft songs with material drawn from his personal experience. In the fall of 2007, Ondrasik released the first live Five For Fighting CD titled "Live" and the DVD "Back Country Live.”
Ondrasik has also made a personal commitment towards causes that are important to him. In 2007, he launched a unique charity-driven website, WhatKindofWorldDoYouWant.com, which raises money for various charities when users view video clips provided by visitors to the site. Ondrasik has also been a dedicated supporter of US troops. He has performed on USO tours in Guantanamo Bay, Hawaii, Guam, and Japan. Ondrasik has also conceived and produced “For the Troops,” a CD compilation series of songs from superstar recording artists, that is available for free to every active service person in the US Armed Forces. He is married with two children and resides outside Los Angeles, and is currently working on the next Five For Fighting album, due out in the summer of 2009.
John Ondrasik is being honored for his dedication to supporting military servicemen and women and his commitment to his family.