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U.S. Navy 2015 Military Child of the Year®

By Operation Homefront

April 12, 2015

Military Child Spotlight: “The focus and discipline to stay the course.”

Emily Kliewer, 2015 Navy Military Child of the Year

We continue our series to celebrate our 2015 Military Child of the Year® recipients with getting to know Emily Kliewer, Military Child of the Year, U.S. Navy.

“The focus and discipline to stay the course.”

Many of us have that someone who is our rock, who gives us the strength to persevere and is our reason for excellence. For Emily Kliewer, that is her mom, Cynthia. That bond was only strengthened through many life-threatening crises as a result of Cynthia’s Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

The connection Emily has with her mother, and what they have faced as a family together, shines through not only in the strength she has to committing to do her best in every facet of her life, but also in her deep respect and empathy towards others. As the athletic director of her school expressed, “I have seen her work incredibly hard for personal gain yet never sacrifice the value of her relationships, particularly those in need.”

And Emily does work incredibly hard. A member and leader of multiple academic honor societies, she is on track to graduate valedictorian of her class. She also rocks the pool, breaking records and swimming in her regional and state championships – multiple times. Any setback only makes her work harder. That kind of discipline, time management and drive speaks volumes. That Emily achieved this while also excelling in academics and carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders truly embodies what we see from our military children.

Not content to rest on her laurels, Emily gives back to her community by mentoring her fellow teammates as captain for the swim and dive team, sharing her love of swimming as a volunteer coach for Special Olympics swimmers, and assisting in a special needs classroom. She also takes time to give back to her military family by volunteering with the Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society. It is her empathy and compassion for others that her friends speak of, even above her many accomplishments.

It has by no means been the easiest path for Emily, as her mom has had serious and frightening health challenges, particularly in the last year. But rather than letting those traumas hold her back, Emily has stayed the course.

The daughter of Navy Lieutenant Commander (Ret.) Kyle and Cynthia Kliewer, Emily is the youngest of three. Her older sisters are also making waves in the world. Kaitlyn (23) is currently earning her PhD in Civic Engineering at Princeton and Nicole (21) is graduating Magna Cum Laude from Florida State University.

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