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Columbus area should have plenty of nominees for this national award

Operation Homefront, a San Antonio, Texas-based nonprofit organization that supports military families, is accepting nominations for the 2017 Military Child of the Year awards through Dec. 5.
Operation Homefront, a San Antonio, Texas-based nonprofit organization that supports military families, is accepting nominations for the 2017 Military Child of the Year awards through Dec. 5.

Fort Benning is among the blessings of living in the Chattahoochee Valley. Such a strong connection to the military not only boosts our economy and buffs our prestige, but it brings some mighty impressive kids to the Columbus area. That’s why we should have plenty of candidates for this national award:

Operation Homefront, a San Antonio, Texas-based nonprofit organization that supports military families, is accepting nominations for the 2017 Military Child of the Year awards through Dec. 5.

Children ages 8-18 are eligible. Six winners -- representing the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard -- will receive $10,000 each. They will be selected based on their scholarship, volunteerism, leadership and extracurricular involvement, according to a news release.

A similar honor, but for only ages 13-18, is the Military Child of the Year Award for Innovation, presented by Booz Allen Hamilton, a strategy and technology consulting company based in McLean, Va. The winner of this award shows the power of innovative thinking, such as inventing a product, improving technology or creating a nonprofit organization. This award recipient will receive $5,000 and mentoring from Booz Allen Hamilton employees, who will help advance the winner’s project, according to the news release.

Every winner will be flown to Washington, D.C., along with one of their parents or guardians to receive their award from military leaders, the release says.

To submit a nomination, go to www.militarychildoftheyear.org and click the Nominations tab.

Operation Homefront, according to its website, helps to strengthen, stabilize and secure military families so they can thrive in the communities they have worked to protect. With more than 3,200 volunteers nationwide, Operation Homefront has assisted tens of thousands of military families since its inception in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Operation Homefront says 92 percent of its expenditures go directly to programs that support military families.

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