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Program honors military brats who help out in communities

Posted at 6:52 PM, May 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 15:48:38-04

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — Doing good to make others feel good is what children of United States military members across the country are doing. Hunt Military Communities is part of the Moody Air Force Base family housing in Valdosta, Georgia.

John Ehle, the President of Hunt Military Communities explained this is the first year for the program, which is called Hunt Little Heroes. He expects this program to continue for years to come.

"We launched this in April because April is the month of the military child in the Department of Defense," said Ehle.

Military kids aged 4 to 15 were asked to submit a 300-word essay or a drawing or photo on what it means to be a positive influence among their peers.

"It turned it out to be a pretty good time in light of the pandemic of COVID-19, while we're all homebound and social distancing," said Ehle. "This is an opportunity to give kids an activity that focused on positive things."

The Wakefield-Jones family moved from Texas to Hawaii and from Hawaii to Montana. Eventually, they left the Treasure State and landed in Valdosta. Two kids taking part in the contest are Dylan and Zach Wakefield, who's mother, Amanda Jones, is currently in the Air Force.

Dylan said, "I wrote about how I watched pets and take care of them, of people's pets, while they are deployed or hospitalized."

Zach added, "I cut grass for a lady that was in the hospital and she couldn't do it. And it was about five acres and I did it for free."

Stories like Zach's and Dylan's are happening across the U.S. with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners being announced next week. The prize is money for the kid and money for the kid's choice of charity.

If they win, the Wakefield brothers have chosen the Lamp, a homeless shelter in Valdosta, as their charity of choice.

"They don't get everything we get and makes us think that we have privileges that they don't have and it makes us feel like maybe we shouldn't be so greedy, or be brats, things like that," said Dylan.

Jones, who is a U.S. Air Force Engineer, added that she could not be more proud of her children and how they have embraced the lifestyle of a military family.

"Having this opportunity for them to be, just emphasize, and know that they are making a big difference," said Jones. "And the cool thing is they make a big difference in every part of the community that we live in. So every time we move, they're making a difference and it's nationwide."

Every kid who submits an essay or picture will receive a hunts little heroes mask and cape along with a purple coin, which is a military tradition given to a civilian who does a good deed.

So what's next for the Wakefield-Jones family? Alaska. They will move again this coming December.

For more information on Hunt Little Heroes, click here.