SAN ANTONIO, Texas – For the 15th year, Operation Homefront will honor the extraordinary achievements of American military children through its annual Military Child of the Year® Awards program. Nominations open today for outstanding young people ages 13 to 18 who are legal dependents of a service member or military retiree and who have demonstrated resilience, leadership, and achievement during their parents’ military service. Nominees will be accepted through December 4, 2022.
Military children, who serve our country alongside their parents, exemplify incredible strength of character. Operation Homefront’s Military Child of the Year® program seeks to recognize those who thrive in the face of the challenges common in military life. Seven Military Child of the Year® recipients will each represent a branch of the armed forces — Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard. Award recipients display dedication to excellence in schools and honor societies, civic associations and clubs, sports, and volunteerism. These young heroes embody leadership within their families and communities, and you never have to look far to find a military child deserving of a nomination.
All seven Military Child of the Year® Award recipients will be invited to attend Operation Homefront’s Military Child of the Year® Awards Gala on Thursday, April 13, 2023, in Arlington, VA, where they will each receive $10,000, a laptop, and donated surprises from Operation Homefront’s generous partners. Operation Homefront will provide airfare and lodging for each award recipient and two family members for a two-day visit to the Washington, D.C. area.
“Our military members are known for their tremendous teamwork, leadership, and resiliency – positive qualities that are further demonstrated by their family members who serve alongside them,” said retired Brig. Gen. John I Pray Jr., President and CEO of Operation Homefront. “It is an honor to recognize the remarkable accomplishments of military children, who are making an incredible impact in their communities while facing the many challenges unique to military life.”
Recipients have had the honor of meeting several Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, First Lady Michelle Obama, Paralympian/veteran Melissa Stockwell, entertainers King Calaway and Brenley Brown, former NFL star and philanthropist Jason Brown, and singer/songwriter/philanthropist Bret Michaels, who have served as guest speakers and entertainers. Actor and writer David Hoffman, who spent his childhood as an Army dependent, has also supported the Military Child of the Year® Awards in recent years, emceeing the awards gala in 2022.
"Being the 2022 Military Child of the Year for the Army is one of the biggest honors of my life,” said Elena Ashburn. “My experience with Operation Homefront and all of the other MCOY recipients in DC was truly one of the most amazing weeks of my life. I made incredible friends, laughed a ton, and met so many other phenomenal individuals passionate about the military community. Because of Operation Homefront’s incredible generosity, I was able to invest in my education, and I am currently attending college debt-free, thanks in part to them.”
Visit operationhomefront.org/military-child-of-the-year to learn more and nominate a child for their respective branch award. Anyone can nominate a military child—from family members and friends, to teachers, coaches, counselors, and clergy. Everyone is encouraged to recognize the outstanding military children in their lives.
About Operation Homefront
Celebrating 20 years of serving America’s military families, Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, 88 percent of Operation Homefront expenditures go directly to programs that support tens of thousands of military families each year. Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing, and family support services to prevent short-term needs from turning into chronic, long-term struggles. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from thousands of volunteers, Operation Homefront proudly serves America’s military families. For more information, visit OperationHomefront.org.
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