The Navy’s 2012 Military Child of the Year, who will be honored in a ceremony in Washington D.C. on April 5, is the 9-year-old son of a Sailor serving aboard the guided-missile frigate USS Elrod.
The 2012 Navy Military Child of the Year is James Richards, the son of Chief Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) James Richards.
The young Richards shared: “I am so honored and humbled, because there are 1.2 million military kids… I think it is amazing that out of all of them, Operation Homefront picked me. All military kids are really special.”
The Military Child of the Year Award is given by Operation Homefront, a national non-profit organization that provides emergency assistance to military families.
Lorraine Richards, James’ mother, shared: “This is an amazing opportunity for our family… Unfortunately, my husband and two of my sons are currently deployed so they aren’t able to help James celebrate. It just brings to mind the wonderful things I see all of our children do and what an impact the older boys have had on James.”
James is the fifth of six children in a Navy family. There was one time when three of James’ brothers, as well as his father, were deployed at the same time. In order to help him cope with their deployment, James started the blog natethegreatamilitarybrat.wordpress.com, to share his wisdom about being a military kid.
He shared: “I actually created the blog so my dad and brothers could see everything that was going on with me… Sometimes the email doesn’t work on the ships and they would miss stuff, but then a lot of military kids started reading it and it was a great way to talk about things that we all go through.”