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Operation Homefront Recognizes 2017 Air Force Military Child of the Year

April 10, 2017 | BY Air Force Staff Sgt. Jannelle McRae , Air Force News Service

Eighteen-year-old Jamal Braxton has a busy schedule. The high school senior holds various leadership positions with the Red Cross, participates in multiple varsity sport programs and is a lifeguard.

Eighteen-year-old Jamal Braxton receives the 2017 Air Force Military Child of the Year award from Air Force Assistant Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Stayce Harris during a gala in Pentagon City, Va., April 6, 2017. Braxton, of Layton, Utah, is the son of retired Master Sgt. Lawrence Braxton and Ahllam Braxton. The annual event celebrates military children who demonstrate leadership, resilience and strength of character, as well as an ability to thrive when dealing with the challenges inherent in military family life. Air Force photo by  Staff Sgt. Jannelle McRae
Eighteen-year-old Jamal Braxton receives the 2017 Air Force Military Child of the Year Award from Air Force Assistant Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Stayce Harris during a gala in Arlington, Va., April 6, 2017. The annual event celebrates military children who demonstrate leadership, resilience and strength of character, as well as an ability to thrive when dealing with the challenges inherent in military family life. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jannelle McRae
Eighteen-year-old Jamal Braxton receives the 2017 Air Force Military Child of the Year award from Air Force Assistant Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Stayce Harris during a gala in Pentagon City, Va., April 6, 2017. Braxton, of Layton, Utah, is the son of retired Master Sgt. Lawrence Braxton and Ahllam Braxton. The annual event celebrates military children who demonstrate leadership, resilience and strength of character, as well as an ability to thrive when dealing with the challenges inherent in military family life. Air Force photo by  Staff Sgt. Jannelle McRae
Operation Homefront recognizes 2017 AF Military Child of the Year
Eighteen-year-old Jamal Braxton receives the 2017 Air Force Military Child of the Year Award from Air Force Assistant Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Stayce Harris during a gala in Arlington, Va., April 6, 2017. The annual event celebrates military children who demonstrate leadership, resilience and strength of character, as well as an ability to thrive when dealing with the challenges inherent in military family life. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jannelle McRae
Photo By: Staff Sgt. Jannelle McRae
VIRIN: 170406-F-VB168-112

He accomplishes all this as a military child and the challenges inherent in military family life.

Because of his accomplishments, Braxton was presented the Operation Homefront 2017 Air Force Military Child of the Year Award by Air Force Assistant Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Stayce Harris, here, April 6, 2017

Month of the Military Child

Operation Homefront hosts the gala each April to honor an award recipient from each branch of the armed forces and the National Guard as part of Month of the Military Child. The award honors resiliency, strength of character in the face of the challenges associated with military life, and selfless service to others within their families and communities.

“Being a military child means adapting and being flexible and being tested about what you think you can and cannot do on a recurring basis,” Harris said during the gala. “Military kids and families truly are a treasured gift our nation gets and they can never get enough gratitude or recognition. Jamal is an exemplary example of an Air Force military child.”

Braxton excelled in leadership by overseeing monthly veteran house visits, youth and leadership group meetings, numerous armed forces activities, the recruitment of future Red Cross Youth Services leaders, and several fundraisers, including the International Measles and Rubella Initiative fundraiser.

Volunteer, Athlete

In addition to volunteering, he participates in varsity swimming, cross country and outdoor track and field, while maintaining a 3.98 grade point average. The epitome of resiliency, he maintains these activities while mourning the loss of two school-aged friends.

During the gala, Harris excitedly announced that Braxton was accepted to the U.S. Air Force Academy and hopes he will soon become an airman.

“I call his volunteer efforts servant leadership and it was what we aspire to exhibit in our core values of the Air Force,” she said. “I would be proud to call you my wingman one day. Thank you for your service to our community and future service to our nation.”

Braxton of Layton, Utah, is the son of retired Air Force Master Sgt. Lawrence Braxton and Ahllam Braxton.

“It’s great realizing that [my dad] and many other military members are out there serving our country and doing to the best of their ability providing us, youth and kids, the best opportunities we can have for our future,” Braxton said.