2018 marks the 10th anniversary of Operation Homefront’s Military Child of the Year award. This year, 17-year-old Brooke Errington of Fort Hood has been named a semifinalist.
“It’s an adventure. You never know what’s coming next, and you could turn the corner and, oh you’re moving again even if it’s only been nine or ten months,” Brooke Errington said.
Brooke is the oldest of LTC Errington’s three children.
“Every child goes through an experience that helps shape them as a person, and the military life has definitely been that for me,” Brooke added.
Her father is serving our country overseas on his fifth deployment.
“Senior year it’s the hardest. I thought that I would be able, I was like oh you know, he’ll be back in March, graduation... but volleyball parent night hit and most importantly senior night... and all these girls had both parents there supporting them, cheering them on at all the games, taking pictures with and it just hit me like you know, my dad's not here,” Brooke said.
But even though her father has been deployed for close to one-fifth of her life, Brooke says she's managed to achieve a nearly perfect GPA, become captain of her soccer and volleyball teams, hold numerous leadership positions in different organizations and log 950 hours of community service.
“I tried to find some activities that it didn’t matter where you lived, you could still be a part of it. So, for example, 4-H it’s nationwide,” Brooke added.
“We marry into the military. We make choices as a family, as a couple to stay in the military. It’s not necessarily the choice that our children would pick... so to see my kids thriving in that environment has been very rewarding,” Alison Errington, Brooke's mother, said.
Brooke was nominated for Military Child of the Year, and on Christmas Eve she found out she was a semifinalist.
“They went from 500 applications, down to 95 and they do one award for each branch. So, out of the Army, I’m one of 15,” Brooke said.
“I am biased, for sure, but I think that Brooke’s great. But, I also think she represents a lot of different military kids that are able to get good grades and excel in the activities that they choose,” Mrs. Errington added.
“But I think it’s really saying something about the Killeen/Fort Hood area because I wouldn’t be able to excel in the things that I do and achieve the different things without the Killeen/Fort Hood area being so welcoming to all these new kids that are coming in,” Brooke added.
Brooke will find out if she's the winner of Military Child in March... around the same time her father is expected to return home from his deployment.
If she is named the Military Child of the Year for the Army, she will receive $10,000, a laptop and other gifts in addition to a trip to Washington D.C. to be recognized and awarded by senior leaders of each branch of service at a gala in April.
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