ESTERO, Fla. An Estero High School student is one of seven nationwide recipients of the 2017 Military Child of the Year Award from Operation Homefront, a charity that supports military families.
Awards were given for each branch of the military. Henderson Heussner, an 18-year-old from Fort Myers, won for the Army.
Henderson’s family moved to Florida from Colorado after his father, Army Col. Todd A. Heussner, was deployed to Afghanistan. The family was caring for Henderson’s terminally ill grandfather at the same time.
Despite these obstacles, Heussner shouldered the emotional burden and became an influential role model for his peers, an Operation Homefront press release said.
He plays for the school’s baseball team despite having suffered two broken vertebrae during his sophomore year. He has volunteered as a tutor and mentor for at-risk children and teens at the nonprofit New Horizons of Southwest Florida.
Huessner also served multiple terms as class president and as student government president. He was a one-time American Legion Boys State delegate and West Point Summer Leadership Experience participant, as well as a youth group leader, sports camp counselor and Sunday school teacher at Summit Church.