Pat Frizzell, chairwoman of the military support organization Pleasanton Military Families, was honored at the State Capitol on Monday as Assemblywoman Catharine Baker's Woman of the Year for the 16th Assembly District.
A registered nurse for 41 years and an active member of Pleasanton Military Families since her oldest son David deployed to Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps in 2003, Frizzell has served as the group's chair since 2009, a leader in the effort to provide support for local military families.
"I love the volunteer work I do with Pleasanton Military Families, our young veterans and our local veteran service organizations," Frizzell said Tuesday. "I've always felt I get more back from it than I give. To be honored like this is a bonus."
A longtime Pleasanton resident who now lives in Livermore, Frizzell said she was honored to receive the recognition and take part in the ceremony on the Assembly floor in Sacramento.
"(Monday) was like Queen for a Day. With a corsage, gift bag, brunch, ceremony, lunch, a beautifully framed award, speakers and a great opportunity to meet many amazing women throughout this state, my day and my heart were full," she added.
Baker (R-San Ramon) said Frizzell embodies the values of the Assembly's annual Woman of the Year program, which aims to honor women across California who display outstanding community service.
"Pat is selfless and dedicated in her work to create a support network for military families in our community," Baker added. "This is well-deserved recognition for Pat, and I am honored to celebrate Pat as Assembly District 16's Woman of the Year."
Pleasanton Military Families provides an opportunity for residents with family members in the military to come together and meet with others experiencing a loved one's deployment. Frizzell, who said she found purpose in supporting people experiencing what she went through, has remained a leader in the organization even after her son completed his military service.
Founded by Vietnam veteran Chris Miller in 2003, the organization also focuses on honoring local military members when they return home from conflicts abroad.
"One of our goals was to provide loud and proud homecomings for our troops when they returned, including a motorcycle escort from the airport while we were decorating the yard and the house for their arrival," Frizzell said. "Great fun, hugs and tears."
Group members also send personal supplies and other gifts to military serving abroad, with its next care package pack-out event set for March 18. For more information, visit www.pleasantonmilitaryfamilies.org.