Captured Event

April, 05 2012 - Operation Homefront Fourth Annual Military Child of the Year® Awards Gala

What: Military Child of the Year®and Awards Ceremony

Where: Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City

When: April 5, 2012

Time: 6:00 pm

Ticket Prices: $400.00

Beneficiary: Military Child of the Year®

Host(s): Operation Homefront

Honoree(s): 2012 Military Child of the Year® Honorees: Amelia McConnell, Army, Erika Booth, Marine Corps; James Nathaniel Richards, Navy; Chelsea Rutherford, Air Force; Alena Deveau, Coast Guard

Presenting Sponsor(s): United Technology

Honorary Chairperson(s): Mrs. Deanie Dempsey, Mrs. Linda Odierno, Mrs. Bonnie Amos, Mrs. Darleen Greenert, Mrs. Suzie Schwartz, Mrs. Linda Papp

President(s): Jim Knotts, Operation Homefront, Air Force Veteran, Chief Executive Officer, Army Homefront Fund

Welcome: Glen M. Latona, Chairman, National Board of Directors, Army Homefront Fund

Speaker: Sergeant First Class Sammy Lee Davis

Entertainment: Angie Johnson, The Voice contestant and YouTube sensation

Of note: Gary Sinise, Special Message

Sponsors: United Technologies, TriWest, Veterans United Foundation, BAE Systems, Bank of America, Flextronics, JPMorganChase, Lockheed Martin, Outback Steakhouse, MilitaryTimes Media Group,

Attendance: 250

Attire: Military Dress

Information: Aaron L. Taylor, Public Relations, Marketing and Chapter Support Manager, Operation Homefront

MilitaryEvents.US Photos by: Donna Gray

 Lorraine Richards, Mother of Nathaniel, Isabelle Richards, Sister of Nathaniel, Robert Richards, Brother of Nathaniel, and James Nathaniel Richards, 9, Jamul, California, 2012 Military Child of the Year®
Lorraine Richards, Mother of Nathaniel, Isabelle Richards, Sister of Nathaniel, Robert Richards, Brother of Nathaniel, and James Nathaniel Richards, 9, Jamul, California, 2012 Military Child of the Year®
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“The sons and daughters of America’s service members learn what patriotism is at a very young age,” said Jim Knotts, President & CEO of Operation Homefront. “Children in military families demonstrate leadership within their families and within their communities. This is what the Military Child of the Year® Award honors.”

Operation Homefront provides emergency assistance to military families, and annually gives the award to an outstanding military child from each military branch of service – Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. 2012 Award winners are: Amelia McConnell, Army,  Erika Booth, Marine Corps; James Nathaniel Richards, Navy; Chelsea Rutherford, Air Force; Alena Deveau, Coast Guard.

From a pool of more than 1,000 nominees, each award recipient was chosen by a committee including active duty military personnel, Family Readiness Support Assistants, teachers, military mothers, and community members. The five awardees will receive $5,000 each and were flown with a parent or guardian to Washington, D.C. for the evening's  special recognition gala.

Keynote speakers at the event will include Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Medal of Honor recipient Sammy L. Davis. More Generals were present than an ordinary day at the Pentagon. These distinguished military dignitaries presented awards to the five awardees: General Lloyd J. Austin, III, Vice Chief of Staff, United States Army, General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, General Norton A. Schwartz, Chief of Staff, United States Air Force and Vice Admiral Sally Brice-O'Hara, Vice Commandant, United States Coast Guard.

YouTube and The Voice sensation Angie Johnson left us wondering too why with 2.6 million views Angie isn't starring in her own reality show. 

Actor Gary Sinise, whose Gary Sinise Foundation is known for consistent support of military families, showed once again how he is a true friend, and generous giver of his personal time and energy to many worthy causes.

Sponsors make events like Military Child of the Year possible. Special recognition goes to Lockheed Martin's trio, John O'Sullivan, Communications Representative; Tracy Carter, Director, Community Relations; Willie Callahan, Vice President, Information Technology Services. Not to be outdone, TriWest representatives Shannon Thornton, Deborah Funk, and President and CEO, Dave McIntyre chatted up guests at the reception.

Veterans United Home Loans and their affiliated philanthropic Veterans United Foundation presented a surprise $10,000 in education scholarships for the awardees, which was in addition to a $60,000 donation to Operation Homefront in January of 2012. Megan Sievers, foundation coordinator, commented, "We're honored to partner with Operation Homefront to recognize the struggles, sacrifices and successes of military children."

Last but not least, Nick Del Calzo, artist, whose Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty features Medal of Honor portraits, enjoyed the celebration.

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