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Press Release

2022 Military Child of the Year® Award Recipients

By Operation Homefront

March 8, 2022

Operation Homefront announces 2022 Military Child of the Year® Award Recipients

Media Inquiries: Mike Lahrman or (210) 834-7823

ARLINGTON, VA — Operation Homefront, the national nonprofit celebrating 20 years of building strong, stable, and secure military families, has named the eight recipients of the esteemed 2022 Military Child of the Year® Award, the nation’s premier recognition of the outstanding achievements of our military children.

Now in its 14th year, the Military Child of the Year® Award reflects the incredible impact these exceptional young people have made on their military families, their schools, and their communities. An awards gala is scheduled for April 7 in Arlington, Virginia at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City. In addition to 2 days of touring Washington, D.C., each recipient will receive their award, a $10,000 grant, a laptop computer, and other donated gifts.

“The life of a military child calls for a special blend of resilience and strength of character, and I am thrilled to congratulate these eight extraordinary young people for how they have been able to channel both of these attributes to sustain their journeys,” said Brig. Gen. (ret.) John I. Pray Jr., President, and CEO of Operation Homefront. “Each awardee is a stellar representative of the larger community of two million amazing military kids, all of whom should be tremendously proud of the strength they add to their families, their communities, and our nation.”

The seven-branch recipients—Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Space Force—will represent the branch of the armed forces in which a parent either serves or has served. The selection was based on scholarship, volunteerism, leadership, extracurricular involvement, and other criteria. Each awardee was selected by a panel of independent volunteer judges with deep roots in the military community.

The eighth 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.

This year’s Military Child of the Year® Award recipients have moved a combined 40 times and lived through 115 months of deployments. They’ve logged 1473 volunteer hours in the 12 months before nominations.

The awardees are:

  • Air Force: Anna Cummins, 16, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Army: Elena Ashburn, 18, Pembroke Pines, FL
  • Coast Guard: Kathryn Alonso, 17, Vienna, VA
  • Marine Corps: Sophia Jordan, 13, Fort Worth, TX
  • National Guard: Andrew Stone, 15, Germany
  • Navy: Mitchell Matella, 16, Rockville, MD
  • Space Force: Grant Benson, 18, Burke, VA
  • Innovation (Army): David Lee, 18, South Korea

Elena Ashburn was a semifinalist in 2021. Sophia Jordan is the sibling of two past Military Child of the Year® Award recipients, Michael-Logan in 2014 and Jaxson in 2019.

Pratt & Whitney is the program’s presenting sponsor. Additional sponsors include Booz Allen Hamilton, Nike, Leonardo DRS, Procter & Gamble, University of Cincinnati Online, WarnerMedia, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc., and Johns Hopkins Healthcare.

Learn more about the Military Child of the Year® Award.

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, 90 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

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