Troop-Support Group Founder Named 'Favorite Mom'

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2008 - Two of America's favorite siblings bestowed a very special honor on the founder of a grassroots troop-support group recently.

Donnie and Marie Osmond named Patti Patton-Bader as "America's Favorite Mom" on the May 11 "America's Favorite Mom" program presented by Teleflora and NBC.

"I really am lucky to know so many heroes in my life," said Patton-Bader, who has two sons in the Army, one currently deployed to Iraq. "Whether they are the troops who serve our country or the amazing mothers here on this 'America's Favorite Mom' program, I am honored to be in the presence of such inspirational people and also am humbled to know that America thinks the same of me."

She said she's thrilled to be able to use it to continue the mission of her group, "Soldiers' Angels," to make sure no soldier goes unloved. The organization operates internationally to provide letters, care packages, and comfort items to deployed troops and support for their families at home. The group also provides assistance to veterans and wounded servicemembers.

She said she's excited about the opportunities this platform provides her to help people learn more about America's military heroes and options for supporting them and their families. The attention she has received through the "America's Favorite Mom" events already has drawn a number of new volunteers who want to support the troops.

Soldiers' Angels is a supporter of America Supports You, a Defense department program connecting citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad.

As the grand prize winner, Patton-Bader will receive $250,000, a set of household appliances, and other items. She said she hopes to apply the winnings to her plans for a small ranch that will allow newly returned soldiers to relax with their families after deployments.

Her path to becoming America's Favorite Mom began when her eldest son nominated her for "America's Most Inspirational Mom" through a nationwide online poll in March 2007. He nominated because of her efforts supporting the troops through Soldiers' Angels.

She appeared on the Today show May 5 as one of three selected finalists in the "Favorite Military Mom" category. A nationwide online poll led to the announcement on Mother's Day that Patton-Bader won both the "Favorite Military Mom" and "America's Favorite Mom" categories.

Before announcing the winners, the show highlighted fifteen outstanding mothers who distinguished themselves in categories ranging from working moms to military moms and "non-mom" moms.

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