Eight NC teens recognized as Military Child of the Year semifinalists in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -The military communities in Eastern Carolina are truly special but it can sometimes be easy to forget the outstanding children, who wear the title of being a military child.

A national non-profit looking to recognize exceptional military children, recently selected eight teens from our state as semifinalists for the annual Military Child of the Year award.

It was an evening of prestige for eight North Carolina military children at Jacksonville City Hall Friday as they were honored for being military child of the year semifinalists.

The Military Child of the Year award sponsored by Operation Homefront is aimed to acknowledge the hard work of many military children.

Some from the east at Friday’s ceremony spoke about the sacrifices made by their parents for them to be a semifinalist.

“I never felt like my dad left me, I knew what he was doing was super important,” said Military Child of the Year semifinalist, Brynlee Nodurft.

“Coming from a Hispanic background, my dad joined the military to help with all of our family problems, making sure all of us were set for our futures,” said Military Child of the Year semifinalist, Izel Bernal.

Every year, many apply with hopes of becoming the next Military Child of the Year award recipient.

This year, 96 semifinalists were selected and these eight recipients were the only ones chosen from North Carolina as they represent the branch of the military in which their parent serves.

Several of the semifinalists say being a military child isn’t always the easiest thing to do but they say as you get older, you understand and appreciate the responsibility the title holds.

“I’m just a small representation of all the military children around the world,” Nodurft said. “I’m just glad that I can represent all of us.”

“Definitely on the resumes that I’ve had, military child semifinalist has to be up there,” Bernal said. “It’s a different perspective because a lot of people just have academic things now, I have something in my life that I can showcase.”

In all, there were seven national winners, each representing a branch of the military.