Organization Honors Service Members' Children
(April 19, 2011)
Retired Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addresses the audience at the at the “Our Military Kids of the Year” awards ceremony at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C., April 14, 2011. Pace spoke on the important role that military families play while their loved ones are deployed. Our Military Kids is a nonprofit organization that provides artistic, athletic and educational grants to children of deployed National Guardsmen and military reservists. Pace is a member of the organization's advisory board. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Gordon
WASHINGTON, April 15, 2011 – “Our Military
Kids,” a national nonprofit organization,
honored four children and a military family here
yesterday in an award ceremony at the Navy
During the organization's “Our
Military Kids of the Year” event, retired Marine
Corps Gen. Peter Pace -- 16th chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff and Our Military Kids
advisory board member -- spoke on the importance
of the families service members leave behind
when they deploy, especially the children of
“Our military families
serve as well as anyone who has ever worn a
uniform,” Pace said. “And these military
children have demonstrated amazing talent,
resilience and strength.”
Kids provides artistic, athletic and educational
grants to children of deployed National
Guardsmen and military reservists who are
deployed overseas, said Greg O'Brien, a public
relations associate for the group.
“These grants pay for participation in activities such as
sports, fine arts, camps and tutoring programs,” he said.
“Our surveys and third-party studies have found how
important it is for children to stay active during a family
member's deployment and have something positive on which
they can focus their energy.”|
This year's Our
Military Kids of the Year honorees are Keegan Neverett, 16,
of Leesburg, Fla.; Chris-Shanti Jackson, 15, of Jackson,
Miss.; Katherine Bensburg, 14, of Mahopac, N.Y.; and Tristan
Fissette, 10, of Elk Grove Village, Ill. Our Military Kids
also honored the family of Air Force Senior Master Sgt.
William Liston, an Air National Guardsman from West River,
Md., as the Our Military Kids Family of the Year.
children represent parents who serve in the Army Reserve and
National Guard, the Navy Reserve and the Air National Guard.
They were selected through a contest among Our Military Kids
grant recipients. The children were asked to submit essays
and videos emphasizing their commitment to community service
and their participation in the grant's activity.
could hardly believe that I was selected as an Our Military
Kids Kid of the Year,” said Neverett, who used his grant for
guitar and voice lessons. “It's a great honor. Just being
here is pretty amazing.”
Many of the children said
they wouldn't have been able to participate in the
activities they pursued without the grants provided by
Our Military Kids.
“I used my grant from Our
Military Kids for cheerleading, cheer lessons and fees,”
said Jackson, whose father is in the Army National Guard.
“With my father being deployed overseas so many times, we
certainly wouldn't have been able to cover the costs of
cheerleading without the grant, and I'm just so thankful for
the opportunity to do what I love.”
By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Gordon,
Defense Media Activity
American Forces Press Service
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