Monterey County Appreciates Monterey Military Family Presidio | Article

Monterey County Supervisor Wendy Root Askew pays tribute to the Morgan family during a meeting of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors in Salinas, Calif., November 22. The family received a framed copy of the county’s proclamation of November as Military Family Appreciation Month. The Morgan family is, left to right, Charlotte Morgan, 11, Ashley Morgan, Abigail Morgan, 3, Nicholas Morgan, 15, Air Force Master Sgt. Vincent Morgan and Jackson Morgan, 9 years old. Standing at right is Elaine Vrolyks, the Monterey Presidio school liaison officer.
(Photo credit: Winifred Brown)


MONTEREY PRESIDIO, Calif. (November 23, 2022) – Monterey County honored a Presidio of Monterey family with a framed copy of the county’s Military Family Appreciation Month Proclamation during a meeting in Salinas on November 22.

Monterey County Supervisor Wendy Root Askew, herself a former military child, presented the proclamation to Nicholas Morgan, 15, Porter Youth Center’s 2021 Military Youth of the Year, and his family. The presentation demonstrated the close ties between the Presidio and the surrounding communities.

Nicholas accepted the proclamation with his father, Air Force Master Sgt. Vincent Morgan, mother Ashley, sisters Charlotte, 11, and Abigail, 3, and brother Jackson, 9. Elaine Vrolyks, the PoM School Liaison Officer, recommended the family for the honor and accompanied them to the meeting.

“The Morgan family, they’re amazing,” Vrolyks said during the presentation. “They are part of our exemplary families. Nick was an incredible youngster of the year for us.

Nicholas said he appreciates the county’s recognition of the sacrifices made by military families, such as frequent deployments and relocations.

“They’re putting their lives on the line for a greater cause,” Nicholas said, “but it’s a big sacrifice on their part and I think that should be recognized.”

Volunteering at the Porter Youth Center has been a great experience, Nicholas said, and he encourages other military youth to come to the center.

“There’s a whole community of people who understand what it is, who have been through what you’ve been through and who you can really connect to on a deeper level, and that can really open you up to new things,” said Nicholas said. “It can really open up your whole world, because one day I stepped in there and it changed my whole life.”

Vrolyks spoke a bit to the Monterey Area Military Community Oversight Board, explaining that most military families come to the area so service members can attend the Naval Postgraduate School and the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center.

“Families can be here for a year to two years, three years depending on the posting, but they come here to study and then they get into very serious situations to protect our nation,” Vrolyks said.

The resolution recognized the unique sacrifices and challenges family members make to support their loved ones in uniform.

“While no matter what rank or branch or where life has taken military families, they share commonalities of service and sacrifice,” the resolution reads in part. “While military spouses are fellow citizens and neighbors and serve their families and their country, they represent America’s true strength.”

Askew said that as a military child, she moved almost every year during a formative period in her life and appreciates the sacrifices military families make.

“It is an absolute honor and privilege for me to recognize all of our military families who pass through Monterey County, who have chosen to make Monterey County their home and who bring so much strength, experience and diversity to the rich fabric of Monterey County,” Askew said.

Staff Sgt. Morgan said he and his family had been in Monterey for about three years, and during that time Nicholas thrived at Porter Youth Center.

“It really is [Nicholas’s] efforts that have opened our family to these kinds of opportunities,” Master Sgt. said Morgana. “We’re grateful for that, but we’re just happy that he took advantage of the things that were presented to him, the opportunities that presented themselves.”

Ashley Morgan said she started homeschooling her kids when they moved to Monterey, and the Presidio of Monterey has provided a lot of support with the Porter Youth Center and homeschool co-op, which meets monthly. and provides opportunities such as field trips.

As a member of a military family, Ashley Morgan also said she appreciates the county’s recognition of military families.

“I think it’s good to be recognized when sometimes maybe [military families] don’t feel recognized,” Ashley Morgan said. “Sometimes the sacrifices go unnoticed. I think it’s good to shine the spotlight a little once in a while in a crowd that usually doesn’t like the spotlight that much.

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