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NCO’s son named Army Child of the Year

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The following story from the Army News Service pays tribute to Kyle Hoeye who was selected as Army Child of the Year.

His mother, Michaelena "Mikie" Hoeye, who nominated her son for this singular honor, serves as a member of the Association of the United States Army’s Tucson-Goyette Chapter’s executive committee.

We at AUSA congratulate Kyle and his family for their outstanding service to the Army and the Army family.

Here’s the story:

Kyle Hoeye, the 16-year-old middle child of Arizona National Guard Sgt. 1st Class James and Michaelena Hoeye, was selected as this year’s Army Child of the Year.

More than 1,400 children competed in the military Child of the Year program run by Operation Homefront.

A deciding factor in Kyle’s selection was his development of a "deployment kit" – treats, photos and items of personal interest sent to deployed soldiers with the help of their families – a project Kyle spearheaded through Marana High School’s Key Club.

The Hoeyes live in Marana, Ariz., a growing town on the outskirts of Tucson. Both James and Michaelena work at the Western Area Aviation Training Site, one of the National Guard’s primary aviation facilities. James is an aviation mechanic.

Michaelena is a civilian working with Family Programs. Kyle is a junior at Marana High School.

Kyle had moved six times before he was 12 years old, owing to his father’s active-duty military obligations. As James transitioned from the active Army to the National Guard, and the family became immersed in a more civilian lifestyle, it was evident that the military lifestyle had left its imprint on young Kyle.

"There is a definite difference between a military child living on an active duty base and a civilian child in a non-military setting," Kyle said.

Kyle identified several other attributes influenced by his father’s military career.

These include the display of manners and respect, self-reliance, and self-motivation.

He remembers being about 10 or 11 years old when he realized that he was taking the initiative and the lead in situations normally avoided by his peers.

Kyle’s father, James, said, "That kind of confidence comes from having to do things as a military kid. In Kyle’s case, he has no fear of failure."

Adding, "Military kids tend to figure things out on their own because of the void created when a parent deploys."

It was Michaelena, Kyle’s mother, who nominated Kyle.

"As a military family, our sense of service and duty is considered part of who and what we are. It is about giving back to one’s community," Michealena said.

Richard Pines teaches courses in law and public safety as part of the Business and Human Services Academy, one of the academic tracks at Marana High School.

Pines was also Kyle’s freshman baseball coach, and has come to know the Hoeyes well.

In an effort to benefit the program, Kyle, with James’ help, designed and constructed a mock electric chair. The chair, while safe, did present the ominous image of the real thing and as such was a huge hit with those students who were deciding which academic track to pursue.

Even though Kyle is enrolled in the Science and Technology Academy, he sensed the need of Pines’ course and made his creative contribution.

"My family and I like to do things together," Kyle said.

Pines said, "The teamwork concept doesn’t surprise me. The good attitude comes from family."

James Doty, principal of Marana High School, said Kyle’s contribution of the electric chair was "incredible," and is proud of his accomplishments.

(Editor’s note: Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret., president of the Association of the United States Army congratulated Kyle and his accomplishment by saying: "Kyle’s efforts to help ease some of the challenges military kids experience such as his deployment kit speaks highly of his desire to reach out to other kids and help them through the rough patches. He is an excellent representative and role model for all military children, and we wish Kyle much continued success.")