Metro East student honored by military program

The next time you see Samantha Grab, salute her.

The O'Fallon, Illinois, teen has been named as the Air Force "Military Child of the Year" by Operation Homefront, a nonprofit group that helps military families and annually honors seven U.S. youths.

The daughter of retired Lt. Col. Richard "Andy" Grab and Michelle Grab, she is an 18-year-old senior at O'Fallon High School.

An accomplished musician, Grab plays the saxophone, French horn, piano, ukulele and drums. She performs in the school's marching band and jazz ensemble, has served in the music mentorship program and has assisted grade-school teachers in music education.

Outside of school, Grab has volunteered hundreds of hours as a retreat leader with Helping Open People’s Eyes, a program that helps teens overcome bullying, stereotypes, depression and other difficulties.

The banquet at which the winners were to be lauded, which had been set for April 2 in Virginia, was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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