The Top 20 Trial

I am not sure why but what my family and I have gone through doesn’t seem like much until I actually tell someone, until I say it out loud. Maybe I have tried not to dwell on it or overthink it. What has happened is already done.

A month ago I got an email from my husband’s command about nominating a millitary child for Operation Homefront’s 2012 Military Child of the Year. Both my husband and I thought our oldest (who at ten years old met the age requirement) would be a great candidate. He wrote his letter of recommendation.

I wrote mine.

Oldest of three children. Has lived in three states. Has lived more months without his father than with. Many military children have similar stories.

This story belongs to my son, M___, my nomination for Military Child of the Year.

We know all about LEADERSHIP, RESILIENCY, and STRENGTH OF CHARACTER in our family and M___ has demonstrated them all. My husband’s vehicle rolled over in Iraq in 2010 and I made the quick decision to temporarily move to Washington D.C. where he would recover for the next several months. When my husband finally came home to continue his rehabilitation, M___ supported him every step of the way by helping him walk, cooking, encouraging his father to keep up the great work, and even accompanying him to doctor’s appointments as far as two hours away by car.

When my husband was called back to work, he made the painful decision to continue living as a geobachelor thousands of miles away to finish his twenty year term with the Navy. Like all of us, M___ was devastated even more so since this was the longest we had ever stayed together under the same roof since his middle sister was born. The time period was only four months and his middle sister five years old at the time of the accident.

Yet despite these challenges, M___ continues to be a straight-A student and is an excellent role model for his peers. He is a wonderful big brother to his younger sisters and often offers to make their breakfasts in the morning. “So you could sleep a little longer before you have to go to work, Mommy,” he says.

M___ volunteers with our church at least ten hours a month, serving as an assistant Sunday school teacher to kids from kindergarten through fourth grade. He also volunteers for monthly PTA school events such as our annual book fair and monthly movie nights.

In addition, he is immensely talented. He is currently an orange belt in karate and has been chosen by his martial arts studio to be a member of the Black Belt Club, an organization that recognizes dedication and excellence. M___ has taught himself how to play the piano and most recently, the ukelele with nothing more than a song book.

It is with great pleasure that I submit M___ as my nomination for Military Child of the Year. Thank you for your consideration.

Over winter break we were notified that M had made it into the Top 20 Finalists for the Navy! I had to secure two letters of recommendation and send in more information.

Last week he made it to the next phase: the interview.

Last night he spoke to a representative from Operation Homefront for about ten minutes. He thinks it went pretty well.

Even if it didn’t, he’s still a wonderfully awesome kid and we are so proud of him! Thanks for your kind words and thoughts over the past few years. Sharing our story is chicken soup for my soul but reading your comments is Christmas candy on clearance!

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One thought on “The Top 20 Trial

  1. I see so few posts like this and it is so good to read Chicken Soup for the Soul indeed! You are absolutely right to put him in for this award as he seems to be an enormously responsible and talented young man with a heart of gold. Congratulations as parents and even if he doesn’t win the Navy award, he’s won it in my eyes for what that’s worth.

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