ARLINGTON, VA (Gray DC) A Jacksonville teen gives everything he has to his community even as his body fights him every step of the way. And now, he’s the Marine Corps Child of the Year.
Thirteen-year-old Jaxson Jordan finds himself in the Washington spotlight. He never expected the award he received Thursday night.
“I was in shock, I didn’t know what to say,” he said of finding out over the phone, “I was speechless. It’s surreal. It’s amazing.”
The Jacksonville, teen struggles with his health – living through chronic pain, difficulty breathing, and limits on his mobility and vision. But, it’s his heart that sets him apart.
“Volunteering just brings me joy, and kind of distracts me from the aches and pains,” he said.
Jaxson organizes food drives for fellow students, works with charities, mentors others, and recently devoted his time and savings to helping those hit hardest by Hurricane Michael and Florence. He’s one of seven kids from each military branch recognized by Operation Homefront.
The non-profit’s president and C.E.O. – John Pray --said these kids all share a strong moral compass. “Jaxson is incredibly special in that he possesses that at such a young age,” he said.
Jaxson’s parents -- Master Gunnery Sgt. Chris Jordan and his wife ReBecca -- are rightfully proud of all their kids. “This is just a great opportunity for everyone else to get an opportunity to see what we’ve always seen,” said Chris. ReBecca said they’ll rein in Jaxson when he’s over-extending himself, but they’ve also taught him there are no limits to what he can do. “If you see a challenge, you go over it, you go around it, you go under it you go through it, but you find a way,” she explained.
Jaxson will return home to Jacksonville with a new laptop, an assortment of donated gifts, and $10,000 He’ll said he plans on donating a chunk of the money to charity, and bank the rest for college.