Fort Bragg kicked off the holiday season with the announcement of the Family of the Year winners in a ceremony Monday, at the Main Post Chapel.

Command Sgt. Maj. William Bauer, 321st Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 18th Fires Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, his wife, Laura, and son, William III, were recognized as the 2013 Fort Bragg Family of the Year.

Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg commanding general, and his wife, Beth, also congratulated the 26 finalists and awarded them with a plaque and poinsettia plant.

The Bauer Family was selected by a community panel after being narrowed down to five main finalists.

“I’m still trying to let it sink in,” said Laura, who shed tears as she received the award. The Bauers were presented with a trophy, $500 from USAA bank and an iPad mini.

“We just try to be the best people we can and I don’t think we are any different from the other Families that contribute to the Fort Bragg community,” said Laura. “It is just such an honor to even be chosen as a finalist.”

The Family has lived at Fort Bragg for several years and said it is nice being recognized at a place they consider home.

“Fort Bragg is our home,” said Bauer. “We are very thankful to even be nominated amongst the many Soldiers and Families here at Bragg, and even more thankful to win the award.”

Bauer and his son volunteer with the Boy Scouts, while Laura volunteers at the Family Readiness Group of her husband’s unit.

“We are so grateful to be a part of this great community,” said Laura.