Army Child of Year Develops 'Deployment Kit'
(April 7, 2011)
|TUCSON, Ariz. (Army News Service, April 4, 2011) -- Kyle
Hoeye, the 16-year-old middle child of Arizona National
Guard Sgt. 1st Class James and Michaelena Hoey, was selected
as this year's Army Child of the Year. |
More than 1,400 children competed in the
military Child of the Year program run by
Operation Homefront. A deciding factor in Kyle's
selection was his development of a "deployment
kit" -- treats, photos and items of personal
interest sent to deployed Soldiers with the help
of their families -- a project Kyle spearheaded
through Marana High School's Key Club.
The Hoeyes live in Marana, Ariz., a growing town
on the outskirts of Tucson. Both James and
Michaelena work at the Western Area Aviation
Training Site, one of the National Guard's
primary aviation facilities. James is an
aviation mechanic. Michaelena is a civilian
working with Family Programs. Kyle is a junior
at Marana High School.
The Hoeyes, from left, mom Michaelena, Army Child of the Year Kyle, and dad Sgt. 1st Class James showing their "Tiger Pride" at Marana (Ariz.) High School
on April 4, 2011. The school administration and staff is very supportive of Kyle's efforts to help dependent military children, and said they are very proud of Kyle's selection as Army Child of the Year.
Kyle had moved six times before he was 12 years
old, owing to his father's active-duty military
obligations. As James transitioned from regular
Army to National Guard, and the family became
immersed in a more civilian lifestyle, it was
evident that the military lifestyle had left its
imprint on young Kyle.
"There is a
definite difference between a military child
living on an active-duty base and a civilian
child in a non-military setting," said Kyle.
Kyle identifies several other attributes
influenced by his father's military career.
These include the display of manners and
respect, self-reliance, and self-motivation. He
remembers being about 10 or 11 years old when he
realized that he was taking the initiative and
the lead in situations normally avoided by his
Kyle's father, James, said "that
kind of confidence comes from having to do
things as a military kid. In Kyle's case, he has
no fear of failure."
"Military kids tend
to figure things out on their own because of the
void created when a parent deploys," said James.
SENSE OF DUTY
It was Michaelena,
Kyle's mother, who nominated Kyle.
military family, our sense of service and duty
is considered part of who and what we are. It is
about giving back to one's community," said
Richard Pines teaches courses
in law and public safety as part of the Business
and Human Services Academy, one of the academic
tracks at Marana High School. Pines was also
Kyle's freshman baseball coach, and has come to
know the Hoeyes well.
In an effort to
benefit the program, Kyle, with James' help,
designed and constructed a mock electric chair.
The chair, while safe, did present the ominous
image of the real thing and as such was a huge
hit with those students who were deciding which
academic track to pursue.
Kyle is enrolled in the Science and Technology
Academy, he sensed the need of Pines' course and
made his creative contribution.
"My family and I like to do things
together," said Kyle.
Pines said "the
teamwork concept doesn't surprise me. The good
attitude comes from family."
principal of Marana High School, said Kyle's
contribution of the electric chair was
"incredible" in that it added so much more to
the course and to the recruiting efforts of that
Doty is unabashedly proud of
Kyle and his accomplishments.
service to others, beyond Key Club, his service
to our military families, his sense of helping
others and his overall volunteerism is in
themselves important to the sense of service.
Kyle personifies service," said Doty.
PRIDE AND HUMILITY
Initially, Kyle says
he didn't understand the significance of his
selection as Army Child of the Year.
took a bit of time to set in, and when it did,
it was both overwhelming and humbling at the
same time," said Kyle.
Kyle's Marana High
classmates are proud of their contemporary. A
freshman said Kyle's achievement was "really
cool" and he was a role model for her. A senior
said "Kyle's accomplishment is pretty
incredible, and he deserves it."
the most telling comment came from a young
freshman who said, "if he could do something so
cool and awesome, then so could we."
takes it all in stride, smiling as he goes from
class to class while exchanging greetings with
almost everyone along the way. His celebrity is
genuine, yet clearly modest.
student said "Kyle gives us all a sense of
renewed faith about kids, and what we are
capable of doing for the greater good."
Article and photo by Army Sgt. Ed Balaban|
Arizona National Guard
Army News Service
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