PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. (November 23, 2022) – The County of Monterey honored a family of Monterey praesidia with a framed copy of the proclamation marking the month of recognition of the county’s military family at 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 took 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 her to the meeting.
“The Morgan family is amazing,” Vrolyks said during the presentation. “You are one of our model families. Nick was a great youngster of the year for us.”
Nicholas said he appreciates the county’s recognition of the sacrifices military families make, such as B. operations and frequent relocations.
“They are risking their lives for a greater cause,” Nicholas said, “but it’s a great sacrifice on their part and I think that should be recognized.”
Volunteering at Porter Youth Center has been a great experience, Nicholas said, and he encourages other military youth to go to the center.
“There’s a whole community of people who understand what it’s like, who’ve been through what you’ve been through, that you can really connect with on a deeper level, and that can really open you up to new things,” he said Nicholas. “It can really open up your whole world because one day I stepped into it and it changed my whole life.”
Vrolyks told the oversight panel a little about the military community in the Monterey area, explaining that most military families come to the area so service members can attend the Naval Postgraduate School and the Defense Language Institute’s foreign language center.
“Families can be here for one to two years, three years depending on the job, but they come here to study and then they get into some very serious situations to protect our nation,” Vrolyks said.
The resolution recognized the unique sacrifices and challenges that family members make in uniform to support their loved ones.
“While military families, regardless of rank or branch or where life has taken them, share common threads of service and sacrifice,” the resolution reads in part. “While spouses of military personnel are fellow citizens and neighbors, serving their families and country, they represent the true strength of America.”
Askew said that as a military child, she moved almost annually for a formative period of her life, and she appreciates the sacrifices that military families make.
“It is my honor and absolute privilege to recognize all of our military families moving 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.
Master Sgt. Morgan said he and his family have been in Monterey for about three years, and during that time Nicholas has blossomed at Porter Youth Center.
“It really is [Nicholas’s] Efforts that have brought these types of opportunities to our family,” said Master Sgt. Morgan. “We’re grateful for that, but we’re just glad he took advantage of the things that were presented to him, the opportunities that were presented to him.”
Ashley Morgan said she started homeschooling her children when they moved to Monterey, and the Presidio of Monterey has provided a lot of support with the Porter Youth Center and the Homeschool Coop, which meets monthly and offers opportunities like 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 get recognition, if sometimes maybe [military families] I don’t feel recognized,” Ashley Morgan said. “Sometimes victims go unnoticed. I think it’s nice to have a little bit of the spotlight every now and then in a crowd that doesn’t usually like the spotlight that much.”