If you've got an extra special military child in your house, Operation Homefront has the perfect opportunity for you to recognize them publicly.
The Military Child of the Year awards, which will celebrate its eighth year in 2016, is now taking nominations. One military kid from each service and the National Guard will be be recognized at the annual awards banquet in Washington, D.C. next April.
Each receives $10,000, a laptop and other donated gifts, Operation Homefront officials said. They'll also be flown to the even with a parent or guardian and will meet with senior leaders of their service branch who will present the award.
"Whether it's in schools or honor societies, civic associations and clubs, sports or volunteerism, you never have to look far to find an exemplary military child who thrives in the face of challenges inherent to military life," John Pray Jr. Operation Homefront's president and CEO said in a release. "As we open up the nomination window, please join us in celebrating the resilience, achievement and strength of character embodied by our youngest patriots and submit a nomination to recognize them today.”
Awardees are military children who are recognized for their academics, leadership, volunteerism or extracurricular involvement while facing military life challenges. They are typically teens who 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, officials said.
Nominating your child for the awards is a great way to brag on them a little while thinking about what it's like to be a military kid said Marine Corps spouse Becca Jordan, whose son Michael-Logan Burke Jordan won the award in 2013 for his work with the Arthritis Foundation and his own charity, The Logan's Heroes Foundation.
"I think every kid should be nominated by their family and friends as a military child of the year," she said."They were born into this, they didn't choose this for themselves. ... It's a good experience for the kids and the parents to take a look back through the eyes of the child see that this their daily life."
The nominations, which are opened until December 11, are completed here on Operation Homefront's website. Nominees must be military dependents enrolled in the DEERS system and must by between the ages of 8 and 18-years-old at the time of nomination.