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Suffolk teen’s sacrifice earns top honor

Posted at 9:27 PM, Apr 15, 2015

SUFFOLK, Va. -- Suffolk teenager Caleb Parsons was chosen as the Military Child of the Year by Operation Homefront.

“It`s very exciting,” said the Kings Fork High School senior.  “It`s very humbling.”

However, there is more to the 18-year-old’s national recognition than his resume which includes ROTC, track, Cub Scouts and mission trips.

When both of his parents were deployed at the same time last year, Caleb chose to make a sacrifice for his family by caring for his three younger siblings.

Caleb Parsons was been chosen as Military Child of the Year.

Caleb Parsons was been chosen as Military Child of the Year.

“I hit my praying knees a whole lot, but I realized this was a very real situation with real consequences,” he said.

Around Christmas last year, Caleb’s parents signed over power of attorney to the 18-year-old.

“I still kind of pinch myself saying okay I`m actually home, we got through that,” said Caleb’s father, Ward Parsons, who is in the Coast Guard.

He said it was a tough decision to allow Caleb to care for his brothers and sister, but he said Caleb took action to keep their family going while mom, an Air Force reservist, and dad were gone.

“He just kind of looks at me and he says I got it dad.  We can do this,” the father said.

Caleb got his siblings to school, after school activities, fed, and in the bed by a decent time, with the help of other military families, reported affiliate WTKR.

“We would go to the park a couple of times, and we would go over to other people`s houses a lot because that restricted time for us to fight,” Caleb joked.

Caleb and his dad both say their faith in God and family is what has really kept them going strong.

“If you don`t have a solid rock to stand on, then you`ll crumble,” said Ward Parsons.

After Caleb graduates from Kings Fork in the summer, he will be heading to West Point for Army Officer Training.

Caleb will be honored April 16 in Washington, D.C. by Operation Homefront.  He will receive $10,000 and a laptop.