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Story Last modified at 1:05 p.m. on Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Local family earns high honors
Thompsons are one of seven Families of the Year

Alaska Star


Eagle River's Thompson family poses with U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski following a ceremony honoring them as one of seven National Military Family Association Families of the Year in Washington, D.C.
photo courtesy sen. lisa murkowski

Though they've traveled all around the world, the Thompson family of Eagle River has no intention of taking their award-winning ways elsewhere.

"We're going to be lifelong Alaskans," said Susan Thompson shortly after she and her family returned from Washington, D.C., where they were named as one of seven National Military Family Association Families of the Year for 2011.

Thompson and her husband, Jasen, both work for the U.S. Public Health Service and work at Alaska Native Medical Center. He's a physician's assistant, she's a registered nurse. In honoring the family's work, the service recognized the Thompson's impressive resume of health care work around the world.

According to a press release issued with the award, the service said the Thompson family has been deployed to far-away places like Haiti the Baltics and Bush Alaska to provide humanitarian medical care. The couple was also recognized, it said, because of their work speaking to local school children, as well as their children's dedication to community service and scouting.

Susan Thompson said all three of the family's children – Abigale, 11, Samuel, 9, and Joshua, 6 – are actively involved in roadside trash collection and food pick-up for local food banks.

And although they're used to traveling, Thompson said her kids got a special treat out of their visit to D.C.

"We got a tour of the White House, which was really awesome for the children to experience," she said.

The family was presented the award by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who praised the entire clan for their selfless dedication to their mission of providing health care and community service for those in desperate need of assistance.

"These awards exemplify the fact that while the service member wears the uniform, it is the entire family who serves," Murkowski said.

A coworker nominated the family for the award, which Susan Thompson said came as both a surprise and a thrill.

"It's quite an honor," she said.

Contact Matt Tunseth at

This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, August 3, 2011.