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Moody child receives Hunt Little Heroes Award

Photo of Hunt Little Heroes award winner in front of Hunt Community sign

Dylan Wakefield, 15, son of Master Sgt. Amanda Jones, 23d Civil Engineer Squadron, poses for a photo May 14, 2020, in Valdosta, Georgia. Dylan received the inaugural Hunt Little Heroes award for submitting an essay about what it means to be a hero and how he positively impacts the community. More than 100 military children submitted videos, essays or drawings for the contest. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jasmine M. Barnes)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

In honor of Month of the Military Child, Hunt Military Communities launched the inaugural Hunt Little Heroes program, a program that celebrates military families and kids’ heroism in the community.

Dylan Wakefield, 15, son of Master Sgt. Amanda Jones, 23d Civil Engineer Squadron, received the Hunt Little Heroes award May 6, 2020, for submitting an essay on his contribution to Team Moody’s community.

“His selfless act of service [is what set Dylan apart from the other contestants],” said Lynette Hegeman, Hunt Military Communities national marketing director. “We looked for community service and things that were from the heart. Dylan’s story stood out because he would hear of someone in need and want to help them.”

According to the Hunt Little Heroes website, contestants’ submissions had to explain what it takes to be a hero and how they have been a positive influence in their community. Dylan’s essay explained how he takes care of service members’ pets when they are away.

“The only prerequisite [for the application process] is that [contestants] are children of service members at any base in the United States [regardless of if they live in base housing],” said Hegeman. “They had to be between the ages of 4 and 15. [Contestants] had to [submit] a drawing, a video or an essay.”

More than 100 military children submitted entries, but Dylan was awarded first place for his dedication to serving the community here.

“I thought it would be nice to help other people out,” said Dylan. “People have always helped me out, so I thought it’d be nice to give back.”

In addition to earning the award, Dylan received a cash prize and an equal amount was donated to the Lowndes Associated Ministries to People, Inc., a charity that assists the homeless.

“I chose to donate to that charity because [my mom and I] volunteer there and realized people needed help, especially teens living there,” said Dylan. “It made me appreciate all that I have and take for granted.”

Although Dylan is not an Air Force member, he has demonstrated a core value – service before self – through his actions.

“I was very surprised [to receive the award] because I was competing against [kids across] the entire nation,” said Wakefield. “I didn’t think it was going to be easy. I was very happy to [receive the award] and be able to donate $500 to a charity here in Valdosta.”

For more information, visit www.huntlittleheroes.org.