Operation Homefront Accepting 2018 Military Child of the Year® Award Nominations and Military Child of the Year® Award for Innovation Applications

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The annual awards recognize outstanding young people for their scholarship, volunteerism, leadership, extracurricular involvement, and other criteria while facing the challenges of military family life.

From today through Dec. 4, Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit with the mission of building strong, stable, and secure military families, will accept nominations for the 2018 Military Child of the Year® awards as well as applications for the 2018 Military Child of the Year® Award for Innovation. All awards will be presented at a recognition gala April 19, 2018, in the nation’s capital. 2018 will be the 10th anniversary of the Military Child of the Year® awards, with 42 military children honored since 2008.

The annual awards will recognize seven outstanding young people ages 13 to 18. Six of them 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 is the Military Child of the Year® Award for Innovation presented by global technology and consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. This award goes to a military child who has designed a bold and creative solution to address a local, regional or global challenge.

All seven Military Child of the Year® Award recipients will be flown with a parent or guardian to Washington, D.C., to be recognized at the April 2018 gala, during which senior leaders of each branch of service will present the awards. They also will receive $10,000 each, a laptop computer, and other donated gifts. In addition, the Military Child of the Year® Award for Innovation recipient will work with a Booz Allen Hamilton team to develop a plan to scale the recipient’s project — drawing on technology and strategic thinking as a part of the corporation’s competitive Summer Games

Anyone may nominate a favorite military child for a service branch Military Child of the Year® Award. Parents, siblings, teachers, coaches, clergy, neighbors, grandparents and anyone who knows a child’s talents may nominate. Simply go to http://www.militarychildoftheyear.org and click the Nominate tab. Children and youth interested in the Innovation Award do not need to be nominated, and may apply directly at http://www.militarychildoftheyear.org.

“This special award recognizes the amazing contributions military children make to our communities,” said Brig. Gen. (ret.) John I. Pray Jr., President and CEO of Operation Homefront. “This exceptionally talented group of our fellow citizens has to cope not only with the standard slate of challenges young people in our society face, but have to deal with the added pressures of parental deployments, relocations, and many other uncertainties as well. As a result, they develop an inner compass that guides them towards giving back, leading, volunteering, advocating, and serving others. 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.”

Previous awardees remember their Military Child of the Year® Award as both an honor and an amazing experience.

Henderson Heussner received the 2017 Army Military Child of the Year® Award as an 18-year-old senior at Estero High School in Estero, Fla. Heussner said that upon learning he had earned the award, “I couldn’t help but feel honored to have been selected, because I know there were so many qualified nominees.”

“I was shocked that out of so many amazing military kids, they chose me,” said 2017 Coast Guard Military Child of the Year® Mary Kate Cooper, who received the award when she was a 17-year-old junior at W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax, Va. “I think everyone goes through hard times and you could find a reason to give every military child an award. Overall, I am excited and honored to have been chosen to represent the United States Coast Guard.”

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 http://www.militarychildoftheyear.org.

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About Operation Homefront: Founded in 2002, 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, 92 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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