Operation Homefront, the national nonprofit that builds strong, stable, and secure military families, is now accepting nominations for the 2020 Military Child of the Year® Awards, as well as applications for the 2020 Military Child of the Year® Award for Innovation. Military Child of the Year® is the nation’s premier celebration of the achievements of military children. Nominations are open through December 9, and all awards will be presented at a recognition gala April 2, 2020, in the nation’s capital.
The annual awards will recognize seven outstanding young people ages 13 to 18 who are legal dependents of a service member or military retiree. Six Military Child of the Year® recipients will represent a branch of the armed forces — the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard — demonstrating resiliency, leadership, and achievement during their parents’ military service. 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.
Whether it’s in schools or honor societies, civic associations and clubs, sports or volunteerism, you never have to look far to find an exemplary military child who thrives in the face of challenges inherent to military life. Ideal candidates for the award demonstrate resilience, strength of character, and thrive in the face of the challenges of military life. These young heroes embody leadership within their families and communities.
“Our Military Child of the Year® nominees are exceptional young people who have made and are continuing to make a real difference in their schools and communities,” said Brig. Gen. (ret.) John I. Pray Jr., President and CEO of Operation Homefront. “While each has unique interests and goals, they share a passion to volunteer, to give back to society and to make life better for others. I encourage those who may know an extraordinary military child to nominate him or her for this national level recognition of service.”
To nominate a child for the award, visit www.militarychildoftheyear.org and click the Nominations tab. Nomination fields include when and how long a parent has deployed, number of family moves, Gold Star Family or Exceptional Family Member Program status, whether a parent is a wounded service member, nominee’s volunteerism, and five short answers as to why the nominee is deserving. Anyone can nominate a child. Family members, teachers, coaches, counselors, clergy, neighbors and friends are encouraged to nominate outstanding military children.
All seven Military Child of the Year® Award recipients will be flown with a parent or guardian to Washington, D.C., and recognized at the April 2nd gala, where they will receive $10,000 each and a laptop computer. The recipient of the Military Child of the Year® Award for Innovation will also receive donated business expertise in bringing their creative solution to market. In previous years, recipients have had the honor of meeting the Chairman 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 and philanthropist Bret Michaels, who were guest speakers for past awards ceremonies.
Recipients of the 2019 Military Child of the Year® Award:
- Lived through a combined 187 months of deployments
- Have logged almost 1,800 volunteer hours in the 12 months before their nominations
- Four of 2019’s seven recipients were past MCOY semifinalists and finalists
- Two were Eagle Scouts
- Five were National Honor Society Members
- Three were competitive swimmers
Previous recipients remember their Military Child of the Year® Award as both an honor and an amazing experience.
“Being honored as a Military Child of the Year is absolutely surreal but overall this is a recognition for my parents. Being a military child was not to my detriment, and quite literally made me the person that I am today. I’m so honored that my story has inspired and will get to inspire so many different people,” said 2019 Navy Military Child of the Year® Elisabeth Lundgren of Chula Vista, Calif.
The 2019 National Guard Military Child of the Year®, Campbell Miller of Ontario, Ohio, said, “To be recognized as the National Guard Military Child of the Year, it means the world to me. I am so humbled and honored by the recognition. It has been amazing.”
For more information about the Military Child of the Year® nomination process, visit www.militarychildoftheyear.org.
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.