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military child of the year submissions open

Press Release

Nominations Open for Military Child of the Year® 2024

By Operation Homefront

September 6, 2023

Operation Homefront Opens Nominations for 16th Annual Military Child of the Year® Awards Honoring America’s Military Children

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – For the 16th year, Operation Homefront will honor the extraordinary accomplishments of America’s military children through its annual Military Child of the Year® Award program. Nominations open today to recognize 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. Nominations will be accepted through December 3, 2023.

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. The seven 2023 award recipients’ impressive resumes included more than 1,600 collective volunteer hours in the 12 months before nominations and all were members of National Honor Society.

“Our nation’s military members and their families exemplify tremendous teamwork, service and resiliency – qualities that strengthen the communities they work so hard to protect,” said retired Brig. Gen. John I Pray Jr., President and CEO of Operation Homefront. “It is an honor to recognize and showcase the remarkable accomplishments of military children, who contribute significantly on their own while facing the unique challenges inherent in military life, through our highly regarded Military Child of the Year program.”

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 11, 2024, 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 to attend the gala and spend a few days in the Washington, D.C. area.

Previous recipients have had the honor of meeting several Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and their spouses, First Lady Michelle Obama, Paralympian/veteran Melissa Stockwell, entertainers Runaway June and King Calaway, 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 and 2023.

“Being selected as Operation Homefront’s 2023 Military Child of the Year for the National Guard will no doubt be one of the greatest privileges in my life,” said Jackson Griggs. “As a military child, I have always been so proud of my parent’s service and so aware of the amazing community of military families that are all over the world. However, even greater than the generous money that this award provides me toward my college education is the time with other military children from other branches who have experienced similar life events as myself. We formed an instant friendship, and our time together touring Washington D.C. and hanging out with one another is a memory that I won’t soon forget.” 

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.

Media Inquiries:
Erin Burgy, Senior Director, Integrated Public Relations
Email Erin or (469) 934-7131

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