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Nominations Now Open for Military Child of the Year

Image: Operation Homefront / Military Child of the Year

They move to new cities or states, even different countries, every two or three years. They change schools, make new friends, and say goodbye to a parent shipping out. “They” are the nation’s nearly two-million military children.

The national organization Operation Homefront recognizes military children who face those challenges and excel. Each year, they choose a Military Child of the Year for each branch of the service – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and National Guard. The award includes a $10,000 scholarship, a laptop computer, and a trip to Washington, D.C. for the ceremony.

Three of the 2016 semi-finalists were stationed at Northwest Florida bases. Lacy Littleton and Hailie Wright represented the Air Force. Victoria Bindi represented the Navy. Littleton and Wright went on to make the finals. WEAR profiled all three teens in February.

Operation Homefront is now accepting nominations for the 2017 awards. Nominees should be legal military dependents between the ages of 8 and 18 years old at the time of nomination.

Nominations can come from parents or other family members, church or school leaders, neighbors or friends. The application will ask specific questions about the child’s experience in a military family – including number of permanent moves and most recent parental deployment. It also asks for descriptions of the child’s community involvement, resiliency, and leadership.

A seventh child will receive the Military Child of the Year Award for Innovation. It recognizes a child, age 13-18, who develops a creative solution for a local, regional or global challenge. The winner will receive a $5,000 grant and assistance in growing their project.

Nominations will be accepted through December 5, 2016 through the Military Child of the Year website. Semi-finalists are typically selected in January, and the finalists will receive their awards at a gala on April 6, 2017.

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