By Megan Wehring
BUDA — When Nyah Gray was nominated for the Military Child of the Year Award, she did not expect to become a finalist.
“I’m actually surprised that I made it this far,” Gray said. “I think it’s pretty amazing. I never realized what could come of this sort of thing.”
Experiences of military children vary. When her biological father served in the U.S. Air Force, Gray and her family moved from place to place about every two years. Gray’s father was killed in action in 2012.
In 2016, Gray’s mother married an Air Force Civil Engineer, which was a job that required more community involvement than travel.
“My biological dad would travel a whole lot more,” Gray said. “He would be on temporary duty for weeks at a time and then come back for a while. Then I had a whole other experience with my step dad. He was involved with things close by where we live.”
Currently, Gray is an an ACC dual enrollment homeschooler. While she is still deciding on college, she is looking to study interdisciplinary studies and languages; Gray also plans to travel abroad in the future.
Operation Homefront announced 32 finalists for the Military Child of the Year award, five for each branch of the armed forces. Recipients will be judged on their scholarship, volunteerism, leadership, extracurricular involvement and other criteria as they face challenges of military family life.
The final seven award recipients will be announced in March and each will receive $10,000, a laptop and other donated gifts. A celebration program is currently scheduled for April 8, 2021; details will be released in March.