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For media inquiries, please contact Mike Lahrman at communications@operationhomefront.org or call (210) 202-1243.

Press Release

Operation Homefront Announces Call for Nominations for 2021 Military Child of the Year
September 14, 2020

San Antonio, Texas - The nomination period for Operation Homefront’s 2021 Military Child of the Year® Awards program opens September 15 through December 7, 2020. Military Child of the Year® is the nation’s premier celebration of the achievements of military children.

The annual awards program recognizes eight outstanding young people ages 13 to 18 who are legal dependents of service members or military retirees. Seven Military Child of the Year® recipients will represent a branch of the armed forces — the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard and Space Force — demonstrating resiliency, leadership, and achievement during their parents’ military service. The eighth 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.

All eight 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 8, 2021, in Arlington, VA, where they will receive $10,000 each and a laptop computer. If COVID conditions permit, Operation Homefront will provide airfare and lodging for the award recipient and one adult guardian and guest for a two-day visit to the Washington, D.C. area. The recipient of the Military Child of the Year Award for Innovation will also meet with a team of Booz Allen Hamilton employees for project support.

”As we start our annual Military Child of the Year award nomination process, all on our end eagerly look forward to hearing more amazing stories of how our nominees are able to excel in school, in extracurricular activities and as leaders and volunteers in their communities, all while facing the challenges inherent in growing up in a military family,” said Brig. Gen. (ret.) John I. Pray Jr., President and CEO of Operation Homefront. “This year is particularly unique as many families are facing a variety of unexpected issues, but we fully expect to continue to see examples of nominees exhibiting the resiliency and creativity for which our military children are well known. I want to take this opportunity to encourage anyone who knows an extraordinary military child to nominate him or her for our very special recognition program.”

Whether 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 embody leadership within their families and communities.

In previous years, recipients 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 Brennley Brown, former NFL star and philanthropist Jason Brown, and singer/songwriter/philanthropist Bret Michaels, who were guest speakers and entertainers for the awards ceremonies.

To nominate a child for the award, visit www.militarychildoftheyear.org and click the Submit 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.

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 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, over 90 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.