We’re checking in with some of our 2011 Military Child of the Year Award winners about what the award meant for them. This years winners will be announced March 8, 2012. Today, we’re hearing from Nicole Goetz, USAF MCOY 2011:
1. My favorite part of winning the 2011 Military Child of the Year award was being able to meet the other recipients of the award. They are all amazing and well-deserving individuals. I am very excited to keep in touch with them and see how far in life they go.
2. The highlight of my trip to D.C. was my father (after his year long deployment in Afghanistan) surprising me at the Ritz when I first arrived in D.C.
3. Meeting an amazing individual such as First Lady Michelle Obama was a phenomenal experience. She is one of the most down to earth people I have ever met and as First Lady of the United States, she embodies all traits that America holds dear in their First Lady. It was truly an honor to meet her.
4. To be honest, I was surprised with how big the ceremony actually was. The massive positive response was overwhelming. It was amazing to see all of the support the country had for not only our military kids, but the military families as well.
5. The response from my friends and family was overwhelmingly positive. They have always been very supportive of me even before this award and encouraged me to always be my best and do my part in the community. However, the day before I found out I won the award, my father emailed me from Afghanistan, telling me that he was proud of me no matter what. At that point, that was all that really mattered to me.
6. While I am grateful for the honor, I do not truly feel like a hero. When I think of heroes I think of people like my dad and the troops, I have done nothing compared to what they have done, the sacrifices they’ve made. What I’ve done was step up to the plate and do what I thought was right. I wanted to do my part, just as my dad and the troops were.
7. Well on base I was no longer “the Chief’s daughter,” but Nicole, while the Chief became “Nicole’s dad.” But really, if anything has changed it is the way that I conduct myself, knowing that I represent thousands of other military kids. With that new conscience, I do the best I can and try to be the best role model I can be.
Operation Homefront announced the Top 5 Finalists from each branch on March 1, 2012. Click here to see complete list.