Military child commits to serving

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Alexcia Givens
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Andrew Stone Jr. received the Military Child of the Year® 2022 award for his many achievements.

AJ is the son of two military parents, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Tanyah Stone, United States Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa program manager, and U.S. Army Col. Andrew Stone, director for Joint Strategic Plans, Policy, and International Affairs for the Ohio National Guard.

“The best part of having parents in the military is the character building that you get from it,” AJ said. “I had a big growth in independence. I’ve had to do things that I wasn’t used to doing, and I’ve had to take up responsibility for myself.”

Before winning the award, AJ volunteered as the Red Cross ambassador for his high school in Ohio. He helped set up and administer the blood drives, enlisting help from different students on the student council.

While still in Ohio, AJ had enrolled in an online college government course through a high school program. After receiving notice that he would be moving with his mother to Germany, AJ didn’t know if he would be able to continue the course, as the school wouldn’t be able to offer the dual enrollment program to someone out of state.

After working it out with the college, however, AJ was allowed to finish the semester. To help others in the future, he worked with his state representative to push for legislation that would allow military children needing to move out of the country or out of the state to finish their courses.

“In different situations I try to balance what is going to help the most, and how I can make situations easier for people,” AJ said. “That’s why I won the award. My passion is to help people.”

AJ, one of eight recipients aged 13-18 this year, was awarded the 2022 Military Child of the Year® for the National Guard branch of the armed forces.

“What I hope AJ understands about this profession is a sense of duty, and I think he truly does because he sees me and also his mother,” Andrew Stone said. “The best part of being in the military is the opportunity, and I think AJ has seen that and aspires to a lifetime of services.”
April is the Month of the Military Child. The annual commemoration was established across the Department of Defense in 1986, and it serves as a time for the members to honor the important role that military children play in the armed forces community.