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Operation Homefront Honors Seven Outstanding Kids At Special Awards Gala

The spotlight was on seven very special military kids as Operation Homefront awarded its coveted 2017 Military Child of the Year® Award during the annual awards gala here, which took place during national Month of the Military Child. United Technologies Corporation was the presenting sponsor for the 2017 Military Child of the Year® Awards Gala.  Other gala sponsors were Booz Allen Hamilton, Murphy-Goode Winery, La Quinta Inns & Suites, MidAtlanticBroadband, Veterans United Home Loans, and the Military Times.

The 2017 Military Child of the Year® Award recipients are as follows:

  • Army: Henderson Heussner, 18, Estero, Fla., Estero High School
  • Navy: Alexander McGrath, 17, Severna Park, Md., Severna Park Senior High School
  • Marine Corps: Jackson Beatty, 18, Camp Lejeune, N.C., Lejeune High School
  • Air Force: Jamal Braxton, 18, Layton, Utah, Northridge High School
  • Coast Guard: Mary Kate Cooper, 17, Fairfax, Va., W.T. Woodson High School
  • National Guard: Molly Frey, 16, Pickerington, Ohio, Pickerington High School North
  • Military Child of the Year® Award for Innovation: Sophie Bernstein, 17, St. Louis, Mo., Navy, Clayton High School

Six recipients earned the 2017 Military Child of the Year®, which came with a $10,000 cash award, based on the armed forces branch in which a parent either serves or has served — Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and the National Guard.  Those recipients were selected based on their scholarship, volunteerism, leadership, and extracurricular involvement.

Additionally, one recipient earned the Military Child of the Year® Award for Innovation presented by Booz Allen Hamilton, which was presented to the child who best demonstrated the power of innovative thinking, such as an invention, improvement to existing technology, or creation of a new nonprofit.  In addition to the $10,000 cash award, the Innovation award recipient will receive a mentorship by Booz Allen Hamilton employees to scale or to advance the recipient’s project.

“On behalf of our board of directors and the entire Operation Homefront family, I want to say how honored we are to help recognize and celebrate an exceptional group of young people,” said Brig. Gen. (ret) John I. Pray Jr., president and CEO of Operation Homefront. “I’ve had the privilege of spending time with them. They are extraordinary representatives of the nearly 2 million military children who serve all of us alongside their parents. Each one possesses a remarkable spirit – the spirit of selfless service that defines our great nation.”

View pictures from the event.

See the Facebook Live video of the awards gala.

Learn more about the recipients.