Military child leads by example

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Steve Bauer
  • 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
With a grin extending ear-to-ear in delight and a slight skip to his step, one of Vandenberg's own maneuvers his way through the corridors of the Youth Center here. 

This is the scene of a typical day for Jared Coen, a student at Crestview Elementary School here, when he is greeted by his father, Master Sgt. Scott Coen, a 381st Training Group instructor here, and his mother, Misty Coen. 

Standing 4 feet 6 inches tall, Jared towers over most of his peers in the first grade. His walk exhibits that of shear confidence, a walk of accomplishment. Excelling in all areas of school, he carries top marks in all subjects and has earned the school's Self-Manager Award two years in a row. He has been recognized with the honors of Student of the Month, Math Magician and Star Reader of his class. 

For Jared, and many of Vandenberg's youth, this is no easy task because he is a military child. The military child is expected to perform the same as every other child, but the military child has to be adaptive to the demands of their parent's service obligation. Military children are often up-rooted from their schools and social networks when family members change duty assignments and they are also forced to cope with the family stresses caused by deployments.

"I think the biggest challenge Jared faces as a military child is losing friends and daycare providers," Sergeant Coen said. "Servicemembers move due to permanent change of stations and he is left to make friends and build relationships all over again."

Despite the circumstances that come with being a military child, Jared maintains a positive attitude, involves himself in the community and is eager to learn.

Inspired by his teacher, Susan Scherer, and his love for science, Jared has created a recycling system that he has implemented within his household.

"It is important for future generations to do the things we can to protect the environment," Jared Coen said.

Jared presented his idea to his cooperative family who became more conscientious about recycling. He proposed the idea of collecting household items that could potentially be recycled and place them on the kitchen counter to make them more likely not to be discarded. Once the counter accumulated a surplus of items, Jared and his older brother Justin, would transfer the items to a recycle bin out in front of their house.

Jared is also actively involved in the local community. He volunteers his time with Vandenberg's Noncommissioned Officer Association  Chapter and pursues self-improvement as he is preparing to test for his purple belt in Kempo Karate.

"Jared has the heart of gold," Sergeant Coen said. "He is always making sure those around him are happy. If ever things are getting hard to deal with, I spend time with Jared. He makes it all worthwhile and always puts a smile on my face."

Jared's example is a true testament of the military child's capabilities. He takes life day-to-day and continually looks for ways to benefit everyone around him.