Each Deserving Young Patriot Receives $5,000



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-- WITH PHOTO -- TO EDUCATION, AND NATIONAL EDITORS:

Recipients Announced For 2014 Military Child Of The Year@ Award

SAN ANTONIO, March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Operation

Homefront today announced the five recipients of the 2014 Military

Child of the Year@ Award. The national non-profit organization that

provides emergency assistance to military families annually gives the

award to an outstanding military child from each branch of service -

Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

From a pool of nearly 1,000 nominees, each award recipient was chosen

by a committee including active-duty and retired military personnel,

spouses of senior military leaders, veteran service organization

leadership, teachers, and community members. The five awardees will

receive $5,000 each and will be flown with a parent or guardian to

Washington, D.C., for a special recognition gala on April 10, 2014.

The awards will be presented by senior leaders of each branch of

service and the keynote address will be delivered by Bret Michaels,

legendary singer-songwriter, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

"The sons and daughters of America's service members learn at a very

young age what it means to be a patriot," said Jim Knotts, President &

CEO of Operation Homefront. "These children thrive in the face of the

challenges of military life with grace and courage and use that

experience to become leaders in their communities. The Military Child

of the Year@ Award honors their resiliency."

Following are the 2014 Military Child of the Year@ award recipients.

ARMY Kenzie Hall, 14 Temecula, California

At age 11, Kenzie created a school organization called Bratpack 11 to

help military kids in her school connect and deal with military kids'

issues. In 2013, that evolved into a nonprofit that she now heads to

grant wishes to military kids who have lost a parent in combat or

have had a parent injured in combat. Her goal is to branch out and

have Bratpack 11 groups at schools across the nation where the

military population is large. Kenzie is the daughter of Jason and

Aerica Hall and has a younger sister, Madison. Her father, Jason, is a

Captain stationed with the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion in Southern

California. She comes from a long line of military members including

two great grandfathers who served in the Navy-one retired and one

served in WWII. A grandfather served in the Air Force, as well as an

uncle and great uncle.

MARINE CORPS Michael-Logan Burke Jordan, 15 Kailua, Hawaii

Michael-Logan was diagnosed at the age of three with Juvenile

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which limits his

mobility and requires biologic/chemo infusions, injections, multiple

oral medications, physical therapy, and surgeries. Michael-Logan is

an Ambassador for the Arthritis Foundation and President of his own

foundation, The Logan's Heroes Foundation, which helps wounded

warriors/first responders and disadvantaged children. At age 13, he

addressed Congress about arthritis, the need for Board Certified

Pediatric Rheumatologists within the DoD community and access to

life-saving drugs. Michael-Logan's professional goal is to become a

Pediatric Rheumatologist and focus his practice within military

treatment facilities.

NAVY Ryan Patrick Curtin, 18 (on March 14th) Corpus Christi, Texas

Ryan began his senior year at home, in bed, and unable to walk. In

early August 2013, Ryan had a lifelong birth defect remedied through

major surgery and recovered faster than expected and was able to

rejoin his teammates on the soccer team. Ryan is an Eagle Scout,

President of the DoD/Naval Air Station Corpus Christi Youth Ambassador

Program, President of the Flour Bluff High School Student-to-Student

Program and was recently awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service

Award (Gold) for 500 annual Volunteer hours. He also lettered in two

varsity sports. Ryan's father, Rex, is a Navy Captain (O-6) stationed

at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, and his mother, Lisa, is the

Interim Director at the Corpus Christi Office of the Navy and Marine

Corps Relief Society. Military service is a family tradition. Ryan's

great grandfather served in the Army and was a Japanese prisoner of

war. One grandfather was in the California National Guard, and the

other retired from the Navy after multiple tours in Vietnam. Ryan's

uncle served in the Army as an Apache helicopter pilot and is now a

Special Agent with the FBI in Virginia.

AIR FORCE Gage Alan Dabin, 18 JBER (Joint Base

Elmendorf-Richardson), Anchorage,

Alaska

Currently a senior in high school, Gage has received nominations to

all service academies and is awaiting appointments. This fits into his

plans to serve in the military as a Foreign Area Officer or in Special

Operations. After retiring from the military, Gage would like to be a

war correspondent. Gage volunteers with Anchorage's Promise Youth

Advisory Board. Amey Armachain, who serves on the Board of Directors

of Anchorage's Promise, states that Gage shows more character and

integrity than adults twice his age. "The moment Gage joined the

committee, he showed his commitment to service, his leadership, and a

level of character you don't typically see in youth his age."

Jennifer, Gage's mother, is a mortgage specialist and his father,

Tobias Adam, is a Senior Master Sergeant Deputy Fire Chief with the

673rd Civil Engineer Squadron at JBER. His family has a long

tradition of military service: Gage's great grandfathers were in WWII

and one went on to serve in Korea. His grandfather retired from the

Navy. Two uncles went to the Naval Academy-one served in the Marines

and the other went into the Navy and served in Vietnam.

COAST GUARD Juanita Lindsay Collins, 17 Clearwater, Florida

Currently a senior, Juanita has been accepted at the University of

Tampa, and has applied to UCLA. Her dream is to become a

pediatrician. Juanita was nominated by Courtney Ward, her Guidance

Counselor for the Exploring Careers and Education in Leadership

(EXCEL) magnet program at Largo High School, who states she is "a

young woman of talent, character, and integrity who maintains a 4.5

cumulative weighted GPA and is ranked number 5 out of 305 seniors."

Ward also states that Juanita is constantly working to be "the best

version of herself that she can be." Juanita's mother, Tafaoga, is

stationed at Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater in Florida; she is the

chief yeoman. Father Ricky is a security guard. Juanita has an aunt

who is currently on active duty with the Air Force, and an uncle who

is medically retired from the Army with two tours in Afghanistan.

About Operation Homefront: A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront

leads more than 2,500 volunteers with nationwide presence who provide

emergency and other financial assistance to the families of service

members and wounded warriors. Operation Homefront has provided

assistance to thousands of military families since its inception in

2002. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent

charity watchdog groups, nationally, 93 percent of total donations to

Operation Homefront go directly to programs that provide support to

our military families. For more information, go to

www.OperationHomefront.net.

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110623/DC25541LOGO

SOURCE Operation Homefront

-0- 03/04/2014

/CONTACT: Aaron Taylor, PR Manager, Aaron.Taylor@OperationHomefront.net, 202-549-4621

/Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110623/DC25541LOGO

/Web Site: http://www.operationhomefront.net

CO: Operation Homefront

ST: Texas

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-- DC76704 --

0000 03/04/2014 21:00:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com

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