Post written by LTJG Ryan White.
The Kennedy family describe themselves as “can-do.” That is not a far cry from the Coast Guard’s motto, Semper Paratus, or “Always Ready.” This positive attitude resonates in all they do and was central to the family’s selection as the National Military Family Association’s Coast Guard Family of the Year.
The family has preserved through the typical military family challenges, which during Cmdr. John Kennedy’s 16-year Coast Guard career has taken the family through six moves in 14 years. Most recently, they moved to Atlantic Beach, N.C., where Kennedy serves as Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Cutter Elm. Their endurance has allowed the family to thrive through it all thanks to the enthusiastic support of wife, Bobbie and their three children. Military life isn’t always easy, but they have found a way to make it rewarding.
“The Kennedy family is more than deserving of this award because of their constant commitment to not only the United States Coast Guard, but to their community,” said Jessica Geri, the ombudsman for CGC Elm. “They go above and beyond to assist others and help out with volunteer projects. They are a very down-to-earth and kind family that makes connecting with them on a personal level very easy.”
The Kennedy family’s activities are as diverse as the Coast Guard’s missions, which only strengthens the family bond. Between singing and dancing to playing in the church and county band, the family sticks together as a team. Each of the children participate in athletics with the girls attending dance and the son playing baseball and basketball as his father coaches.
Through it all, the family has become very close; relying on each other as they tackle challenges ranging from half-marathons to getting settled in new towns making new friends. The Kennedys approach each move as an opportunity to broaden their horizons and embark on a new adventure.
“My family is thrilled to represent our Coast Guard and its families in this way. Although challenging, the military lifestyle reminds us every day of the blessings of liberty,” said Kennedy.
When asked where their favorite duty station has been, the family admits they can’t decide because “we’re not finished moving!” And with every move the Kennedys will add to their extended family of friends.
Congratulations to the Kennedy family on Military Family of the Year!