As a Coast Guard family with two children who grew up as military kids, we know first hand how special military children are. Whether it’s moving from duty station to duty station, helping new friends get settled in quarters or enduring a parent’s deployment, America’s youngest citizens play a vital, and often unsung, role in supporting America’s armed forces. April is the Month of the Military Child and we enthusiastically share that Operation Homefront has announced 2017’s Military Child of the Year® Awards.
April is the Month of the Military Child: A Child from Each Service is Selected as a Military Child of the Year®
Mary Kate Cooper, a 17-year old junior at W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax, Va is the 2017 Coast Guard Military Child of the Year and she was chosen as overall Military Child of the Year, too! Operation Homefront says this about the award:
[It] recognizes military children who have demonstrated themselves as exceptional citizens while facing the challenges of military family life. Awardees will receive $10,000 each, a laptop computer and other donated gifts, and will be flown with a parent or guardian to Washington, D.C., for the gala, during which senior leaders of each branch of service will present the awards. ~ Operation Homefront, Military Child of the Year
There are seven total recipients of this prestigious award, one from each branch of service: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, National Guard, Navy; and one is given the Award for Innovation presented by Booz Allen Hamilton. Click here to learn more about the awardees.
Mary Kate distinguished herself in community service, overcoming personal obstacles and in athletics. She’s been a below the knee amputee since birth and has never let that stop her. Amongst other achievements she has distinguished herself by participating in:
- U.S. Paralympics Track & Field Olympic Committee, High School All-American
- Can-Am Swimming Open
- U.S. Paralympic Team trials, finishing 36th in the world in swimming
- Spirit of Excellence Award at the National Junior Disability Championship