Oceanside teen named Marine Corps’ 2011 “Military Child of the Year”

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – An Oceanside teen who helped his family overcome a number of setbacks and, with his mother, formed a nonprofit organization to help pregnant wives of men in the military, was Thursday named the Marine Corps' 2011 “Military Child of the Year.”

Taylor Dahl-Smith, a 17-year-old high school senior, will receive a $5,000 award. He was one of five youth honorees, one for each military service.

“The sons and daughters of America's service members learn what patriotism is at a very young age,” said Jay Anderson, Southern California chapter president of Operation Homefront. “Children in military families demonstrate leadership within their families and within their communities.”

Soon after Taylor's stepfather left for his fifth deployment to Iraq, his brother was born and was injured when dropped by a doctor, and when they returned home they found their house flooded, according to Operation Homefront.

The boy stepped up and helped manage the baby's medical care and house clean-up, according to the organization.

When his stepfather returned home with a traumatic brain injury and had to spend the year in and out of hospitals, Taylor helped out his family again.

He and his mother created the North Star Group, a nonprofit that hosts on-base baby showers and pampers pregnant women whose husbands are deployed, according to Operation Homefront.


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