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In a testament to the resilience and unwavering support, Kieva DeFrancisco, a spirited 14-year-old, has been named 2024 Fort Gregg-Adams Military Child of the Year. With her mother serving in the U.S. Army, Kieva’s life has been marked by frequent moves and the challenges of adapting to new environments. Despite these hurdles, she remains a beacon of strength and optimism, embodying the spirit of resilience that defines military children.

Reflecting on the challenges of her lifestyle, Kieva told Juan F. Jimenez, “One of the biggest challenges of being a military child is moving from location to location. I love to travel and go to new places, but most military children move roughly every three years.” Yet, through each transition, Kieva and her family have learned to create a sense of home wherever they go. She emphasizes that while challenges exist, change doesn’t always equate to difficulty, highlighting the adaptability and strength inherent in military families.

Beyond her own experiences, Kieva’s commitment extends to her community and peers. Actively volunteering at the installation’s youth center, she supports fellow military children facing similar challenges. Her exceptional interpersonal skills, leadership qualities, and dedication to service have not gone unnoticed. As she prepares to embark on another journey to Honolulu, Hawaii, Kieva’s impact and maturity continue to inspire those around her, leaving a lasting legacy of resilience and compassion. As Tyneika N. Thomas, the Child and Youth Services Youth Center Facility Director, aptly summarizes, “She is an exceptional youth that goes the extra mile in all that she does, and she will be missed.”