When we think of the sacrifices that our military makes to keep us safe, we first think about the uniformed men and women who courageously put their lives in harm’s way to protect our freedoms. We are forever indebted to these individuals for maintaining the principles and ideals of our great nation.
But what cannot be overlooked when we pay homage to our armed forces is the children in military families who are left at home when their mother or father is away from home serving their country. With April being known as the “Month of the Military Child,” the Ohio House of Representatives has been recognizing the contributions and needs of these thousands of individuals across Ohio.
During Wednesday’s House session, Rep. Rick Perales, who represents a district near Dayton and is a proud veteran of the United States Air Force, presented a resolution to Katie Pauley for her receiving the 2016 Military Youth of the Year Award by the Boys and Girls Club. A resident of the Dayton area, Ms. Pauley is active in so many important organizations, including serving as president of the Air Force Teen Council. Her father, Ryan, has nearly 20 years of military service and is currently a Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force.
Also honored on the House floor was Sydney Barret from the Toledo area, who similarly was named the 2016 Ohio Military Kid of the Year. Ms. Barret’s father was a 22-year US Army veteran before retiring in 2014. She also remained active in school and through other activities and was tremendous leaders to so many young people who looked up to her.
During his floor presentation, Rep. Perales explained some of the challenges that military children face, such as often having to move all over the country and even the world. Ms. Pauley, for example, has spent time living in Japan, Alaska, Texas, Utah and now Ohio. She is a special example of someone who has faced, and overcome, obstacles to become a terrific young person who is making a difference in our state.
Earlier this year, the House also passed a resolution to recognize “BratPins,” pins worn to honor those who grew up as dependents of military service members. The resolution was sponsored by Reps. Barbara Sears of Toledo and Mike Dovilla of Cleveland. Proceeds of buying the pins go to an organization that raises awareness and resources for military children.
When it comes to showing support for the men and women in uniform overseas, it is just as important that we keep in mind the loved ones they leave here at home. In whatever ways we can, we should try to reach out to them, for their sacrifice is also great.
Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) represents the 91st District, which includes Clinton County.