Tyndall Teenager Selected Air Force Military Child of The Year
(April 6, 2011)
|TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS - 4/1/2011) -- Tyndall
teenager Nicole Goetz, 17, recently selected as the Air
Force Military Child of the Year, was awarded a flight in
air show performer Greg Poe's aerobatic airplane March 23.|
Dax Wanless, a pilot with Greg Poe Airshows, helps Nicole Goetz, 17, prepare for her flight in the ethanol-powered Fagen MXS with Greg Poe March 23, 2011. Nicole was recently selected as the United States Air Force Military Child of the Year and was awarded a flight in air show performer Greg Poe's aerobatic airplane.
This year's 2011 Gulf Coast Salute Open House and Air Show, hosted
by Tyndall officials March 26 and 27, featured various military and
civilian aerial demonstrations and static displays, including Greg
Poe's high flying stunts in his brand new ethanol-powered Fagen MXS
and Fagen A36 Bonanza.
"I was really excited to have the
opportunity to fly with Greg," Nicole said. "How many people are
given the opportunity to fly in a stunt plane?"
children, each representing their parent's branch of service,
received $5,000 for being selected in the competition, which is
sponsored by Operation Homefront. They will be flown with a parent
or guardian to Washington, D.C., for a recognition ceremony April 7
include meeting first lady Michelle Obama.
Nicole was selected out of approximately 750 applicants Air
Force-wide for her volunteer service at a youth center, her
church, veterans' and nursing homes, and for her
participation in a number of clubs in her high school. This
came as part of her effort to embrace her new community
while her father is deployed. |
"I was chosen about
two months ago," Nicole said. "Being really involved with
the community, I think, is what helped me get selected. It
helped me earn the honor, but it also makes the time my dad
is deployed go by much faster."
Chief Master Sgt. Michael Goetz, the 325th Mission Support
Group superintendent, has been deployed since last April. He
was also deployed six months prior to his current
deployment. For almost half of her high school career, her
father has been serving on deployments. It can be a
challenging time for many children across all branches of
service in today's military families.
nominated as the Air Force Military Child of the Year, she
has had the opportunity to experience a lot of things, such
as flying in Greg Poe's aerobatic stunt plane and traveling
to new places.
"I was excited and honored when I
found out I received Air Force Military Child of the Year,"
said Nicole. "My mom actually nominated me for the award in
secret and she started asking me about past community
service and I began to get suspicious. Shortly after, I got
her to tell me why."
Nicole is currently working on a
fundraising project that will aid the victims of Japan's
earthquake and tsunami disaster. During the past holiday
season, she also organized an effort involving 21 local
schools to create and send hundreds of homemade Christmas
cards, cookies and care packages to troops overseas.
She still finds time for her younger brother, Michael, 11.
Nicole tutors him in school work when he needs extra help.
And when he's especially missing their dad, she takes him to
"It gets lonely not having my dad
around," he said. "But Nicole helps make the time go by a
lot faster for me."
Nicole also has some advice to
pass on to other military children who have deployed loved
"Being a military child gives me the
opportunity to see and meet a lot of people," Nicole said.
"My advice for others who have a deployed parent or parents,
is to get involved. If you keep busy, it keeps your mind off
of how much you miss them and it benefits your community as
Article and photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Reel|
325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Air Force News
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