Your gift is matched 2X: Support our military families in need

Double My Gift
Get help now


What Americans Need To Know About Military Kids

By Operation Homefront

April 30, 2014

As we wrap up the Month of the Military Child, we asked the past winners of our Military Child of the Year award what they want Americans to know about military kids. Nine out of 17 of our past recipients provided input for this blog. They brought us up to date on where they’ve been — and where they’re headed — and they STILL continue to inspire us!

Now, in their own words…

“Military kids are little warriors themselves. Many have to move multiple times and start over in new schools and towns, make new friends constantly (a scary thought for those in middle school), and send their fathers and mothers off to war. That being said, military kids are not to be underestimated. Military kids are outgoing, resilient, creative, and strong. The hardships and the sacrifices that comes with being part of a military family only makes us that much stronger and that much more motivated to change the world for the better.”

Nicole Goetz – 2011 Air Force Military Child of the Year(Nicole is working on her undergrad degree in Georgia and is partnering with fellow MCOY recipient Maggie Rochon to create a new military nonprofit that focuses on reintegration and bridging the military-civilian gap.)

 “The children share their parents love for serving.”

Willie Banks, 2010 Military Child of the Year (Willie, a very active 8th grader, is working towards becoming a historian, a professional soccer player, and a saxophone player.)

 “I truly don’t think anyone can understand the reality of what it’s like to be a military child unless you’ve been one yourself. Military families are unique in that they all have a common bond and that is knowing how to accept change. Whether it is moving every few months/years, or having a parent go away or get deployed for lengthy periods of time. It can be challenging. Not only are our active duty military parents making self-sacrifices for our country, but those families are making sacrifices too. It’s incredible to see the service our young military heroes make for both their families and our country. I think that’s the beauty of living the life as a military child. We are presented amazing opportunities to enrich and immerse ourselves in new cultures and ways of life. It is up to us to take advantage of those opportunities and cherish every moment of it.”

Alena Deveau, 2012 Coast Guard Military Child of the Year (Currently, Alena is double majoring in Meteorology and Geography and minoring in Communications. Right now, she is leaning toward working in the service sector.)

Being a Military child is the best way to grow up. Yes, it is hard at times but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. We learn the respect, values and morals from the military environment. I think most military children would agree that we have a bond that can’t be broken because of the military experience we share.”

Chelsea Rutherford, 2012 Air Force Military Child of the Year (Chelsea hopes to be an elementary teacher by this time next year. She is eager to start in her classroom and begin her journey.)

“I want America to know about all the sacrifices that military children make every day. (They) move countless times, have to step up and become the leaders of the house when their loved ones are deployed, or continually be the rock when times are tough.”

Mark Newberry, 2013 Air Force Military Child of the Year (Mark is a pre-med student, through the Air Force ROTC, in Michigan. He wants to become a surgeon, so he has joined a pre-med club on campus and is shadowing a thoracic surgeon).

“The saying, “kids serve too” is very true. We move every few years, have to make new connections and support systems, and many of us face the fact that our fathers and mothers might not come home. It is a fact of life for military children, and we continue to live our lives as normally as possible. Many of us do not have hometowns or childhood homes that we grew up in. I was born in Japan, and have lived in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Hawaii. These experiences are difficult to cope with, but form our personalities, and make us who we are. We adapt, and change is just part of our everyday lives. We devote our lives to the military lifestyle, and home is where the military sends us.”

Erika Booth, 2012 Marine Corps Military Child of the Year (Erika is currently an undergrad student in North Carolina. She is a biology major with a minor in chemistry, and hopes to get into medical school after getting her undergraduate degree.)

“I want America to know that military kids sacrifice just as much alongside their parents in order to protect this country. They move schools frequently, adapt to new environments, and travel the world representing our country. They are the strongest people I know. “

Nicole Daly, 2013 Army Military Child of the Year  (Nicole, a senior in high school, has started her own nonprofit with a mission to spread awareness about the problems of poverty and their connection to the lack of education throughout the world. She says that after college she has a passion to fight the global education crisis.)

  “I want America to know that military kids should be honored because of what they go through.  Moving all of the time, parents being deployed, and not being treated the same, military children go through some daily struggles that other children do not. And they should be recognized for that.” 

Amanda Wimmersberg, 2013 Coast Guard Military Child of the Year (Amanda is an undergrad student in Florida. She has a dream of eventually becoming a nurse practitioner for either surgery or pediatric oncology.) 

“They are the best kids in the world! They live extremely tough lives, yet they continue to work hard and challenge themselves every day. They make sacrifices for our freedom, just like their parents. They are a very special breed- one that deserves recognition. Next time you meet a military kid, thank them!” 

Abigail Perdew, 2013 Marine Corps Military Child of the Year (Abigail is a “plebe” at the U.S. Naval Academy. She is working toward a political science and Arabic double major. She is hoping to earn a commission in the Marine Corps, where she would like to serve her country as either a Public Affairs Officer or a Foreign Area Officer.)

Other Posts

Get help now