Operation Homefront Accepting 2017 Military Child of the Year® Nominations
From today through Dec. 5, 2016, Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit with the mission of building strong, stable, and secure military families, will accept nominations for the 2017 Military Child of the Year® awards, which will be presented at a recognition gala April 6, 2017, in the nation’s capital.
The annual awards will recognize seven outstanding young people. Six of them in the age 8 to 18 range will represent a branch of the armed forces — the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard — for their scholarship, volunteerism, leadership, extracurricular involvement, and other criteria while facing the challenges of military family life. The seventh award, which is open to young people ages 13 to 18, is the Military Child of the Year Award for Innovation® presented by Booz Allen Hamilton. With a new invention, improvement to existing technology, creation of a new nonprofit or community service group, or expansion of an existing membership organization, the winner of this award shows the power of innovative thinking.
The six armed services branch Military Child of the Year® awardees will receive $10,000 each, will receive a laptop computer and other donated gifts, and will be flown with a parent or guardian to Washington, D.C., for the gala, during which senior leaders of each branch of service will present the awards. The Military Child of the Year Award for Innovation® recipient will receive a $5,000 cash award, will benefit from mentorship by Booz Allen Hamilton employees to scale or to advance the winner’s project, and will be flown to Washington along with a parent or guardian to be recognized at the gala.
Anyone may nominate a favorite young patriot. Parents, siblings, teachers, coaches, clergy, neighbors, grandparents and anyone who knows a child’s talents may nominate. Simply go to www.militarychildoftheyear.org and click the Nominate tab.
“Operation Homefront is excited to recognize the amazing accomplishments of our military children through our ninth Military Child of the Year® program,” said Brig. Gen. (ret.) John I. Pray Jr., president and CEO of Operation Homefront. “This very special group of young people demonstrate resolve, service, and a ‘can-do’ spirit as they cope with the various challenges inherent in military life, such as parental deployments and frequent relocations. I encourage all to consider nominating a deserving military child and join Operation Homefront in our annual celebration of resilience, achievement and strength of character.”
“I was at a Freedoms Foundation leadership course when I heard that I was selected,” said 2016 Air Force Military Child of the Year® Madeline Morlino of Moorestown, N.J., who at the time was 17 and destined to become an Air Force Academy cadet. “My dad texted my family and me, and I literally jumped off my seat. I am truly humbled and honored to have been selected as Military Child of the Year.”
Teenagers don’t always win. For instance, 2016 Marine Corps Military Child of the Year Christian Fagala of Quantico, Va., said he was pleasantly surprised to win the award in April 2016 at age 9.
“I was very honored and proud,” Christian said, reflecting on his reaction to winning. “I didn’t think I was going to win. There were so many deserving military kids that have done great things for our community.”
On average, previous recipients have had at least one parent deploy for 18 months or longer and have relocated at least five times due to a parent’s military assignments.
For more information about the Military Child of the Year® nomination process, visit www.militarychildoftheyear.org.
The Military Child of the Year® program takes place as part of Operation Homefront’s “Answer the Call” campaign from September 10 to November 12. Operation Homefront knows our military and veterans have served around the world to protect us. Along with their families, our service members continually answer the call to support our nation. That’s why we provide a variety of programs and services that show these families that their nation is grateful for their service. Learn more at OperationHomefront.net/AnswerTheCall, and join in online with the hashtag #AnswerTheCall.
About Operation Homefront: A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront builds strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. With more than 3,200 volunteers nationwide, Operation Homefront has provided assistance to tens of thousands of military families since its inception shortly after 9/11. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, 92 percent of Operation Homefront’s expenditures go directly to programs that provide support to our military families. For more information, go to www.OperationHomefront.net.