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Archive for March, 2012

We decided to involve our fans in helping us get creative and find a cover design for our Facebook  timeline cover photo. Over the last week, over 230 amazing photos were submitted by our community, and we had a tough task in choosing just five as favorites to win.  Check out our American Spirit Cover Photo Contest Album and you will understand just how challenging this was for us. Thank you to everyone who shared their special moments in time with us.

Without further ado, the winner of the just released HD iPad is….

This is my daughter, at a little over 2 years old, welcoming her daddy home from a 7 month deployment to Afghanistan. -Katy Zimarowski Bossart

Second and Third Place and winners of Kindle Fires…

We only had a little time to spend as father and son, but I know you wouldn't have left, if you weren't fighting for everyone. So I'll take care of mommy and wait till you come home, I can't wait to pick you up and show you how much I've grown! Daddy don't you worry, keep doing what you do. Mommy and I are OK, we couldn't be more proud of you.-Jax Berrios

my four year old son on Veterans Day while Daddy was serving overseas. The flag was heavy and blowing in the wind but he held on and was so so proud ! Taken near Fort Riley, KS-Melissa Oden Bradfield

Fan Favorite, and winner of an Amazon Gift Card….

This picture is of my husband and I when he came home for R&R last April. He flew into DFW, and was overcome with joy when he saw me and 20 family members and friends there to surprise him. When all the hugs, kisses, tears, and dust settled, we snuck off to the side and my good friend Rachel Stricklin captured this amazing moment so beautifully. I am one proud Army wife and this picture still makes me choke back the tears.-Jenny Lloyd

Also winners of an Amazon Gift Card…

This was my husbands runion with his Girls Jasmine 2 at the time and Amara 3. He was comming home from his 5th deployment with 101st Fort Campbell Ky. As you can tell he has two very happy ladies in his arms! ♥ (Vicki Lawton)

My husband deployed when our 2nd son, Logan, was 3 months old. 7 months later...he knows his daddy...and is so in love. I love my smile in the background! (Megan Davis Sokolowski)

In addition, our Wounded Warrior Wives page chose a winner for their timeline photo (and a WalMart Gift Card)…

] – This picture was taken by my mother-in-law just days after my husband was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq. This was the first moment my husband and I got to see each other following his deployment and injury…. reunited in the ER of Wilford Hall at Lackland AFB… October 2006. — with Brandon Byers.-Megan Byers”]

Reunited! - This picture was taken by my mother-in-law just days after my husband was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq. This was the first moment my husband and I got to see each other following his deployment and injury.... reunited in the ER of Wilford Hall at Lackland AFB... October 2006. — with Brandon Byers.-Megan Byers

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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:

Nicole Goetz represented the USAF as their finalist for 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.

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We’re checking in with some of our 2011 Military Child of the Year Award winners about.  This years winners will beannounced March 8, 2012. Today, we’re hearing from Melissa Howland, NAVY MCOY 2011:

My favorite part of winning the award was being recognized for doing things that I considered normal.  I dealt with what life gave me and made the best of my situation with my health by volunteering.  I never did it to gain recognition, I did it because I enjoyed it but it was very nice to have been recognized.

Melissa Howland represented the NAVY finalist in the MCOY 2011

The highlight of my trip to D.C. was meeting the First Lady.  She is such a graceful, elegant, strong role model for everyone today so meeting her was a huge honor.  It was a very positive experience to know that someone so important to our country was willing to recognize us five young adults for what we do.  It was also really valuable to know that the First family of our country supports the brave men and women of our services and their supporting families.  I understand she is a busy woman but it would have been nice to have had a bit more time with her.  Maybe a five or ten minute meeting with each receipient to ask questions or just talk.

One part of the ceremony that surprised me was how all the representatives of each branch made a point to speak to me.  Meeting all these admirable heros in such high positions was incredible but for them to have sought me out during the ceremony to personally congratulate me was very touching.

I had a bit of a different military child upbringing than the other winners, so when I won this award, most friends started asking me more about what it was like having a parent in the military.  It made me really reflect on what it meant to be a military child because it had always been normal for me that my dad was in the navy and he was gone for long periods of time.  It was always just a fact of my life, but after winning this, I started to realize the difference between my parent being deployed and my friend’s parent going to teach at school.  Since I was not raised on a base, I never had the support of other military families going through the same things I was.  Meeting the other winners and sharing in their experiences was like an immediate bond I had never known before.

Good Luck with selecting new winners.  We all know there are so many deserving military children.

Operation Homefront announced the Top 5 Finalists from each branch on March 1, 2012.  Click here to see complete list.

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