Brewster Middle School student recognized as Marine Corps Military Child of the Year - Camp Lejeune Globe: Carolina Living

Brewster Middle School student recognized as Marine Corps Military Child of the Year

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Posted: Monday, March 11, 2019 3:15 pm

Operation Homefront awarded its 2019 Marine Corps Military Child of the Year (MCOY) Award to Brewster Middle School seventh-grader Jaxson Jordan this week.

The 13-year-old is Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s fifth consecutive recipient. He’s also the youngest.

“We’re honored to have our first MCOY at Brewster Middle School,” said BMS Principal Shelia Gilliard. “It’s been hard to keep this news to myself. I wanted to tell everyone. It shows that military children are resilient. They’re always transitioning from place to place and overcoming adversity.”

Jordan is visually impaired, dyslexic, and in chronic pain. He has suffered organ damage due to overlapping autoimmune diseases. Still, his resiliency — as well as his sense of humor — came through in his essay that was part of the award process.

“More specifically, I have Systemic Onset Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (attacking my organs), Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (attacking more than 5 joints), Ankylosing Spondylitis, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Type III, IgA Nephropathy Kidney Disease, Asthma, Interstitial Lung Disease, and 2 very rare eye diseases-Autoimmune Retinopathy and Cancer Associated Retinopathy,” Jordan wrote. “Just to throw in for good measure, I am also dyslexic. I bet you are googling these medical terms right now, aren’t you? That’s okay. As many times as you have had to google these terms, I have had to retype this essay due to my dyslexia kicking in and my spellcheck having a field day!”

“One thing that has always stood out to me about Jaxson is his sense of humor,” said BMS counselor Michele Miller-Morton. “He always makes me smile.”

“One thing I love about that essay is you could really see his sense of humor come through,” said Jordan’s mother, Becca Jordan. “He’s always been funny, whether it’s quirky or sarcastic. But it’s never been in a mean way.”

That positivity has played an important role in helping the young teenager overcome adversity. His essay spoke to resiliency, a trait that Jordan believes can be nurtured by staying positive. It’s part of his personal mantra, even.

“Staying positive adds to resilience,” Jordan said. “It brightens your attitude and keeps you moving forward. … People of all abilities can make a positive impact in their community, their country and the world.”

Despite his health issues, Jordan has a desire to help others. That includes a few years ago when he noticed a friend who didn’t eat lunch at school.

“I started bringing him extra in my lunch box. One day he told me his family didn’t have lunch food in the house,” Jordan said.

That was the motivation for Jordan to kick start a school program focused on bringing food to his school for students in need. That spread to helping at community food banks and in other capacities.

“We bring people non-perishable food, toys for kids and any other things they need,” Jordan said.

Perhaps the crowning jewel of his philanthropy came in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. Seeing the area in such need, Jordan did what he does best — give.

“I had a set sum of money and wanted to help out with the kids at Tarawa Terrace Elementary. My mom matched my money. Then we spoke to a store manager and they matched it. All in all, we ended up getting together over $1,000 to help the school,” Jordan said.

Jordan’s older brother Michael was also a recipient of the MCOY award in 2014.

“I’m blessed with some very amazing children and an amazing family,” Becca Jordan said. “My husband and I are so proud of them.”

Jaxson Jordan credits his parents for their volunteer work and philanthropy.

“They were always very giving. It feels good to honor my family and the community. I’m glad to be a part of the tradition,” Jordan said.

As for others who are facing their own battles, Jordan had a piece of advice from someone who knows a little bit about keeping up a fight.

“Stay resilient and positive,” Jordan said. “Challenges are meant to be overcome.”

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