Military Child of the Year

By: Todd Martin
A Killeen High School senior is in the running for Military Child of the Year representing the US Army.

Like many busy seniors, Brooke Errington is studying hard, enjoying her final year in lots of extracurricular activities and filling out reams of applications for scholarships and awards as they come in.

She was admittedly surprised when one of those awards triggered a press release and her photo appeared in local media outlets – it was a good surprise.

The daughter of Lt. Col. Joey and Alison Errington is among 95 national semifinalists for the Operation Homefront Military Child of the Year.

She is competing among 15 students representing the Army and expects to find out in March if she wins the award and with it a scholarship.

Win or not, the highly active student is grateful for her time at Fort Hood and said life in a military family has shaped her for the better.

Errington is National Honor Society treasurer and part of Student 2 Student, active in 4H and a volunteer with her church and the United Service Organization. She is also a varsity volleyball player.

She and her family, including a younger brother and sister, moved to Central Texas her sophomore year. They were still staying a hotel when she tried out for the Roos volleyball team and began practice prior to the start of school.

It’s been like that for her – seven moves in multiple states and countries and her dad’s 41 months combined deployment, including now during her senior year.

Errington rolls with it.

“It’s nice getting recognized for what I’m doing,” she said. “I was a little shocked. I know part of this achievement comes from being in the Fort Hood area.”

She and her family have completed tours in Germany, twice in Kansas, Minnesota and now in Central Texas.

“Getting involved has helped,” she said. “Being part of sports and NHS and finding other kids with the same values. I made friends through volleyball before school started. I’m grateful for my friends and teachers. I get great support.”

She also gives back. As an ambassador for 4H, Errington encourages military students nationwide to take part in the organization’s numerous programs. She participates in baking and photography in 4H.

This year provides as good an example as any of her busy lifestyle. With a brother, Billy, sophomore at Killeen High and a seventh-grade sister Becky at Audie Murphy Middle School, 17-year-old Errington gets to help out a lot.

“It’s made me independent and responsible,” she said. “My mom has to run around a lot and sometimes we make our own meals. It also makes me appreciate time with my dad.”

He is currently deployed to Korea. During the volleyball team’s parent night, Errington stood with her mother and a cutout picture of her dad. He is due back in plenty of time for graduation.

“I wouldn’t trade it,” she said of the military life. “Everyone has their difficult times. It’s shaped me. I enjoy starting over. I know I’ve met people I never would have met. The Army really becomes family.”