General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will speak at the Military Child of the Year Award Gala on April 10, Operation Homefront has announced.
The event recognizes the top military child from each of the five military services.
Adding star power to the Washington, D.C. gala with a keynote address will be legendary musician, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Bret Michaels. Having grown up as a military child himself, Michaels is a supporter of Operation Homefront and recently visited wounded warriors at Operation Homefront Village in San Antonio.
Mike Emanuel, chief congressional correspondent for Fox News Channel, will emcee the dinner and award portion of the evening event. During his tenure at Fox News, Emanuel has provided live coverage of several national and international stories, including the 2005 Iraqi elections, the execution of former dictator Saddam Hussein, and several tours of Afghanistan.
“We’re excited to have a great program and some outstanding Americans to salute these five amazing military kids,” said Jim Knotts, President & CEO of Operation Homefront. “The Military Child of the Year Award honors the resiliency and service to country of our youngest heroes. 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.”
2014 is the sixth year that Operation Homefront has presented the Military Child of the Year Awards. The five awardees will receive $5,000 each and will be flown with a parent or guardian to our nation’s capital for the special recognition ceremony. The awards will be presented by senior leaders of each branch of service. 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 leaders, teachers, and community members.
The five award recipients for 2014 are Kenzie Hall, 16, of Temecula, Calif. representing the Army; Michael-Logan Burke Jordan, 15, of Kailua, Hawaii representing the Marine Corps; Ryan Patrick Curtin, 18, of Corpus Christi, Texas representing the Navy; Gage Alan Dabin, 18, of Anchorage, Alaska representing the Air Force; and Juanita Lindsay Collins, 17, of Clearwater, Fla. representing the Coast Guard.