Lejeune High School senior, Jackson Beatty

Lejeune High School senior, Jackson Beatty, recipient of the 2017 Marine Corps Military Child of the Year Award, stands with Brig. Gen. Thomas Weidley, former commanding general of Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, at the school, March 2. Beatty served as captain of the LHS wrestling team, led others as captain of the marching band drumline and volunteered in the community, all while maintaining a 4.01 grade point average, setting a glowing example for military children worldwide.

Each year Operation Homefront honors a group of military children who have embraced their lifestyle and found success both in the classroom and within their community.

Nominations for the 2018 Military Child of the Year Award and Military Child of the Year Award for Innovation are now being accepted.

The nomination period will end Dec. 4.

“This exceptionally talented group of our fellow citizens has to cope not only with the standard slate of challenges young people in our society face, but have to deal with the added pressures of parental deployments, relocations and many other uncertainties as well,” said John I. Pray, president and chief executive officer of Operation Homefront. “I encourage all to consider nominating a deserving military child and join Operation Homefront in our annual celebration of resilience, achievement and strength of character.”

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the award, which has been presented to 42 military children.

Seven children, ages 13 to 18 will be selected for the award.

Six of those will represent each branch of the nation’s military, with a seventh going to a military child that has solved a local, regional or global difficulty with a creative solution.

All awards will be presented at a gala in April in Washington, District of Columbia.

Anyone may nominate a military child they feel is deserving of recognition for their work in the classroom, through their community, extracurricular activities and volunteerism while taking on the military lifestyle.

Military children interested in the innovation award may do so without a nomination.

More than one Lejeune High School student has represented both the Marine Corps and Navy as Military Child of the Year.

Christopher-Raul Rodriguez was the Marine Corps Military Child of the Year in 2015, Jeffrey Burds was the Navy Military Child of the Year in 2016, and most recently Jackson Beatty, became the 2017 recipient of the Marine Corps Military Child of the Year Award.

For more information, visit www.militarychildoftheyear.org.