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Archive for April, 2013

Serving our country is often a family tradition. If you and at least two other members of your family (father, grandfather, mother, uncle, aunt, cousin, etc) have served in our US Armed Forces, Operation Homefront and Outback Steakhouse invite you to apply to attend a once-in-a-lifetime VIP experience in Chicago.

 – Were you inspired by your military family members, or have you inspired others to enlist?

– Do you have generations of Active, Guard, Reserves and/or retired military members in your family that you would like to bring together to honor?

– Do you have a story about you and your family’s service that you would like to share?

If you are a military family or veteran and have at least two other family members that have or are serving, you are eligible to enter.  You, and one of your inspiring family members, must be available to travel between 5/23 and 5/25. For local families in Chicago that don’t need to travel, you will need to be available on 5/24 only.

This special event will be held in Chicago, Friday, May 24, 2013.  It’s a secret, but a special guest will join honorees for this luncheon!

We will select 10 honorees (and the inspiring military family member’s guests) to receive this special VIP package.  Five of the honorees must be from the Chicago area and up to five can be flown from anywhere in the Continental United States.  Air travel and lodging will be provided free of charge to the honorees and family members.

Entries accepted through April 24.

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alexanderrayburch-navyAs we get ready to honor this year’s Military Child of the Year Award recipients in Washington DC on April 11th, we are privileged to share their inspiring examples of resiliency, leadership and achievement.  Today, we’re proud to spotlight Alexander Ray Burch, Navy Military Child of the Year for 2013:

Born at 25 weeks and 1.5 pounds, Alexander Ray Burch was not expected to survive the night. He pulled through but at age four, doctors discovered he was hearing impaired and would continue to lose his hearing with age. Instead of limiting him, Alexander excels in doing for others. He said, “I really enjoy volunteering a lot because at the end of the day I know I have made a difference, I made today count.”

While living in Guam, then nine-year old Alexander collected food and water and delivered supplies to villagers who lost their homes in a devastating typhoon. Since then, he has grown into an honors student and chess enthusiast who immerses himself in volunteering. This year, he volunteered over 400 hours which included producing a video for an Anti-Bullying Campaign. He is a member of the golf team and on the homecoming court. Dawn Thompson, Director of Youth Programs at Grand Forks Air Force Base, wrote, “There is nothing he will not do and ‘no’ does not appear to be in his vocabulary. He is an inspiration for all kids and many adults.”

Alexander’s father, David, is a retired Navy Chief who served 24 years including assignments in Naples, Iceland and Guam. He currently works with the FAA. His mother, Joanne, is a Training & Curriculum Specialist for Child and Youth Programs at Grand Forks Air Force Base. Navy service is a family tradition. Alexander’s great grandfather was a retired Commander, earning a bronze star for service in WWII and Korea. His great uncle was a retired Chief Warrant Officer.

Alexander says the best part of being a part of a military family is the privilege to have lived around the world. “I have experienced white outs in Iceland, earthquakes, typhoons and super typhoons. . .I have met some amazing people of all different cultures and religions, tasted different foods and visited palaces and castles. I am so proud of my dad and so thankful to the US Navy for all the opportunities given to us.”

While his hearing disability prevents Alexander from pursuing his dream of a Navy career, he plans to work toward a career in government supporting the military. He is especially interested in a career in business, accounting or entrepreneurship and has been accepted to the University of North Dakota.

Alexander is a voracious reader, loves watching scary movies and his favorite food is sushi. He enjoys playing on the computer and spending time with his new puppy, Finley, and three cats. Alexander is the eldest child of Joanne and David Burch. Alexander has a younger sister, Olivia.

Service Highlights
Torch Club Food Drive
GFAFB Movie Theatre, Volunteer Asst. Manager
Animal Shelters
Youth Center

Other Highlights
Homecoming Court
Youth of the Year, Grand Forks AFB (2011-12)
Youth of the Year, Grand Forks AFB (2012-13)
Finalist, Youth of the Year, State of ND (2013)
National Society of High School Scholars
4-H Club, Vice President & Ambassador
Chess Club, Golf Club
Odyssey of the Mind

Favorite Quote: Alexander says, “This quote inspires me to work hard, be the best I can and not just think of myself but to see everyone else around me and their needs.”

Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishment. The present is theirs, the future, for which I have really worked, is mine. ~ Nikola Tesla

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The fifth annual Military Child of the Year Awards will be presented April 11, 2013 at the Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City. In addition to the trip to our nation’s capital, recipients are awarded a laptop computer and a $5,000 cash prize. To learn more about Operation Homefront and the Military Child of the Year® Award, visit www.militarychildoftheyear.org. For more about Operation Homefront visit www.operationhomefront.net.

 

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nicolemariedaly-armyAs we get ready to honor this year’s Military Child of the Year Award recipients in Washington DC on April 11th, we are privileged to share their inspiring examples of resiliency, leadership and achievement.  Today, we’re proud to spotlight Nicole Marie Daly, Army Military Child of the Year for 2013:

Nicole, age 16, has moved 9 times and so far, attended 3 high schools. Despite these constant changes, Nicole is ranked at the top of her class with a 4.7 GPA, a weighted score based on her coursework of Honors and Advanced Placement classes. She has earned varsity letters in both cross country and track and runs half-marathons with her father.

She served as the Military Child Education Representative for Fort Lee on a panel determining ways to help military children transition between schools. Nicole volunteers weekly with the Fort Lee Thrift Shop and at events to support the College Scholarship Fund for the Fort Lee Area Spouse’s Club. In addition, she spent over 150 hours last year on weekends visiting National Guard and Reserve units to teach soldiers and dependents about their education benefits. Nicole was nominated by her school counselor, Tara Bauman-Seely, who wrote, “She is truly an example of a well-rounded student and immediately embraced her new environment and involved herself with extra-curricular activities. She certainly stands out to me as a role model for military students!”

Nicole’s father, Edward, is a West Point graduate and Chief of Ordnance and Commandant of the Ordnance Center and School at Fort Lee, VA . Her mother, Cathy, is also a West Point graduate and a former Quartermaster Officer. Nicole’s great-grandfather served in WWII.

Growing up in a military family “created resiliency because every time we move, I have to constantly prove myself as an individual and my capabilities” Nicole explains. Her favorite part of this lifestyle is the diversity. “The ability to engage with so many different cultures, ways of life, and personalities is invaluable and something I cherish every day. It truly opens the mind at such young ages, which I believe is the key to human harmony.”

While still open-minded about careers, Nicole is leaning toward the medical field. “I think the impact that doctors are able to have on patients’ lives is amazing. Having said that, the possibilities are endless!”

Nicole’s favorite thing to do is spend time with her family, especially cheering together for the NY Yankees or her brothers at their baseball games. She is the eldest child of Cathy and Edward Daly, both West Point graduates. She has two younger brothers, Connor and Mitchell.

Service Highlights
Fort Lee Thrift Shop
Fort Lee Spouse Club
Family Readiness Groups

Other Highlights
Freshman Class President, Citizenship Award
Military Child Education Representative, Fort Lee
Model United Nations
Chemistry Club
National Honor Society
Varsity letters in cross country & track

Favorite Quote: Nicole says, “I have this quote posted as my screensaver and throughout my room. It is a continual reminder every day of how precious life is, and how I should strive to make the best of it.”

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. ~ Oscar Wilde

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The fifth annual Military Child of the Year Awards will be presented April 11, 2013 at the Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City. In addition to the trip to our nation’s capital, recipients are awarded a laptop computer and a $5,000 cash prize. To learn more about Operation Homefront and the Military Child of the Year® Award, visit www.militarychildoftheyear.org. For more about Operation Homefront visit www.operationhomefront.net.

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abigailmaryroseperdew-marinecorpsAs we get ready to honor this year’s Military Child of the Year Award recipients in Washington DC on April 11th, we are privileged to share their inspiring examples of resiliency, leadership and achievement. Today, we’re proud to spotlight Abigail MaryRose Perdew, Marine Corps Military Child of the Year for 2013:

Abigail (“Abi”) is student council president and captain of the cross country team and track and field team. She carries a 4.1 GPA as a full International Baccalaureate (IB) senior with advanced placement courses in economics, calculus, European history and physics. She has volunteered over 200 hours this year including math tutoring. As president of Student 2 Student, she has grown the outreach of this group which helps new students acclimate to their new school and host country’s culture. Linda Berger, the IB Coordinator for Bahrain School, wrote, “In my nearly thirty years as a secondary school educator, I regard Abigail as one of my top students. She is intelligent, talented, highly motivated and positive.”

Abi has a proud history of military service on both sides of her family. Her mother, Jessica, is a former Marine who now works in accounting. Her father, Jason, is a Lieutenant Colonel with Marine Corps Forces Central Command. Abi’s paternal grandfather served in the Air Force and three grand-uncles served in the Marine Corps, including one West Point graduate. Abi’s maternal great-grandfathers both served, one in the Air Force and the other served in the Navy as a Seabee during WWII. And her mother’s uncle served in the Air Force.

Seeing the world is Abi’s favorite part of being part of a military family. She says, “I’ve seen and learned things that many kids never will. Traveling has given me an open mind towards new cultures and people; I’m willing to try anything once. I believe that moving around has made me the optimist and friendly person that I am today.”

Abi has earned an appointment to the United States Naval Academy and plans to study development economics and Arabic. She would like to work as an attaché or Foreign Area Officer and in the long term, as a diplomat or run for public office. Somewhere in there, she would also enjoy teaching elementary students.

Abi enjoys spending time with family and friends, especially singing and rooting for their favorite X Factor contestants. Abi is the daughter of Jessica and Jason Perdew. Abi has two older siblings, William and Ashley and two younger brothers, Ethan and Andrew.

Service Highlights
Math tutor
Student to Student, President
Sunday School teacher
Love 146, Vice President

Other Highlights
Varsity cross country team, Captain
Varsity track & field team, Captain
Swim team
Junior Class Secretary
Student Council President
FFA, Greenhand President
National Creed Speaking Award
National Honor Society

Favorite Quote: Abi says, ” I know the importance of doing what’s right and sticking to what you believe. It can be difficult sometimes, but I try to stand up for what I believe in, even if it means rejecting the majority. It doesn’t matter what other people think of me; it only matters what I think of myself. I would rather maintain my integrity and do what is right, than follow the crowd.”

Don’t be afraid to stand for what you believe in, even if that means standing alone. ~ Unknown

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The fifth annual Military Child of the Year Awards will be presented April 11, 2013 at the Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City. In addition to the trip to our nation’s capital, recipients are awarded a laptop computer and a $5,000 cash prize. To learn more about Operation Homefront and the Military Child of the Year® Award, visit www.militarychildoftheyear.org. For more about Operation Homefront visit www.operationhomefront.net.

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amandawimmerberg-coastguardAs we get ready to honor this year’s Military Child of the Year Award recipients in Washington DC on April 11th, we are privileged to share their inspiring examples of resiliency, leadership and achievement. Today, we’re proud to spotlight Amanda Wimmersberg, Coast Guard Military Child of the Year for 2013:

Amanda is a gifted and talented senior with a 4.0 GPA and is captain of the varsity soccer team and track team. She is a member of the Peer Leadership program which helps freshman acclimate to their new school by providing an older student to talk to about problems and make sure they aren’t getting bullied. Amanda was the Teen Panel member of the Military Family Action Planning Committee and volunteers with her soccer team, student council and National Honor Society to organize beach cleanups and fundraisers.

She conducts senior citizen home visits with her church youth group. Amanda is certified in Red Cross CPR and First Aid and works as a lifeguard at the local community college. Amanda was nominated by her school counselor, Kelly Reising, who wrote, “Frequent moves have always been a part of her life and so Amanda adapted quickly to her new environment. From the beginning, it was clear that Amanda was resilient, hard-working and intelligent.”

Amanda’s mother, Christina, is a recently retired Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander. Her father, Richard is a Commander with the USCG Force Readiness Command- Detached Duty Navy Warfare Development Command in Norfolk, VA. Amanda’s maternal grandparents both served in the Army. Her grandmother was a nurse. Her grandfather was killed in action in Vietnam and was awarded the Purple Heart, Silver Star, Bronze Star and Air Medal.

Amanda has lived in nine different states and says, “I like the adventure. My favorite advantage of being a military kid is the ability to move everywhere and experience so many different places.”

This fall, Amanda will begin studies at the University of Central Florida, where she aspires to be a physical therapist. She says “I love helping people and encouraging them to be active. I grew up playing sports, and whenever I was hurt my athletic trainer would help me get back on the field. I would love to do the same and help others get back to what they love doing most.”

Amanda enjoys spending time with family and friends trying new things. She has parasailing, skydiving and swimming with sharks on her list of things to try. She is the eldest daughter of Christina and Richard Schultz and has two younger brothers, Tyler and Jack.

Service Highlights
Fundraisers for breast cancer research
Fundraisers for epilepsy cure & research
Hurricane Sandy food & clothing drive
Red Cross Blood Drive
Sr. citizen home visits
CPR & First Aid Certified

Other Highlights
Military Family Action Planning Committee, Teen Panel
National Honor Society
Varsity soccer, Varsity track
Student Council

Favorite Quote: Amanda says “I read this every day because it helps me understand no matter where I am in life, I should never take anything for granted.”

The secret to being happy is accepting where you are in life and making the most out of every day. ~Anonymous

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The fifth annual Military Child of the Year Awards will be presented April 11, 2013 at the Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City. In addition to the trip to our nation’s capital, recipients are awarded a laptop computer and a $5,000 cash prize. To learn more about Operation Homefront and the Military Child of the Year® Award, visit www.militarychildoftheyear.org. For more about Operation Homefront visit www.operationhomefront.net.

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marknewberry-airforce

As we get ready to honor this year’s Military Child of the Year Award recipients in Washington DC on April 11th, we are privileged to share their inspiring examples of resiliency, leadership and achievement.  Today, we’re proud to spotlight Mark Newberry, Air Force Military Child of the Year for 2013:

Mark moved for the 10th time, recently from Virginia to Washington state, the summer before his senior year. He carries a 4.25 GPA with a course load of Advanced Placement statistics, anatomy, physiology, European history and literature. Mark earned three varsity letters in track and cross country and his team placed third at the state championship. He earned the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout at just 13 years old. Mark teaches Sunday school, visits shut-ins every other weekend and volunteers at the local VA thrift store and elderly village. His school principal, John McSmith wrote, “Mark is a person of character who always does the right thing. He is thoughtful and considerate to everyone, willing to help and work for the success of the team.”

The Newberry family has military roots extending back to the Civil War. The most recent generations include Mark’s father, Brian, who is the Wing Commander at Fairchild Air Force Base. Mark’s uncle is also a Colonel in the Air Force currently serving at the Pentagon. Marks’ grandfather retired from the Air Force with 20 years of service. Mark’s mother, Jill, is a registered nurse.

Mark attributes his adaptive nature and love of travel to his many moves. “With ten moves in 18 years, I have either lived in or seen almost every state. Having moved 3,000 miles three separate times has given me the opportunity to see some amazing sights. I have been able to meet many great people all over the country.”

He participated in the Duke University TIP Program for clinical psychology and shadowed a surgeon for 20 hours for his senior honors project, all in pursuit of a career in medicine. Mark will study Pre-Med and has been accepted to the University of Texas-Austin, the University of Michigan and Baylor University and awaiting to hear back from Air Force ROTC and a few other universities.

Mark enjoys playing sports and spending time outdoors -a perfect activity is a pick-up game of basketball under blue skies and sunshine. He is the son of Jill and Brian Newberry. Mark has a younger brother, Matthew.

Service Highlights
Awarded Boy Scout Eagle Rank, age 13
Sunday School teacher
Twice monthly visits homebound seniors
VA thrift store
Volunteers at local Elderly Village with holiday celebrations and dinners

Other Highlights
Junior Class Treasurer
Homecoming Committee
Latin Club
Key Club Treasurer
National Honor Society
Varsity cross country, Varsity track

Favorite Quote: Mark says, “I remind myself of this quote before every race, in order to focus on my goal. As a fellow distance runner, I have idolized Steve Prefontaine because of his success as a record holder and Olympian. I have strived to carry on his same work ethic.”

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift. ~ Steve Prefontaine

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The fifth annual Military Child of the Year Awards will be presented April 11, 2013 at the Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City. In addition to the trip to our nation’s capital, recipients are awarded a laptop computer and a $5,000 cash prize. To learn more about Operation Homefront and the Military Child of the Year® Award, visit www.militarychildoftheyear.org. For more about Operation Homefront visit www.operationhomefront.net.

 

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