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
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
Co-Chair(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,
Attire: Military Dress
Information: Aaron L. Taylor, Public Relations, Marketing and Chapter Support Manager, Operation Homefront
Blacktie Photos by: Donna Gray
Sergeant First Class Sammy Lee Davis, U.S. Army (Ret.), Medal of Honor Recipient, and James Nathaniel Richards, 9, Jamul, California, Navy 2012 Military Child of the Year®
View all photos
“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.