MOMC Highlight – Waylon Cooper

Written by: Erin Beene

The “Military Kid” represents a bracket of young people living in this ever-changing lifestyle that, we all know, is brought on by being a dependent. Adapting, moving and watching a parent leave to protect their country for various periods of time is all they know. It’s a lifestyle they are familiar with and characterizes a large part of their childhood. April is set aside as the Month of the Military Child as a way to recognize and give some credit to these resilient, unique and proud kids who sacrifice in their own ways.

One such military kid is eight year old Waylon Cooper. Waylon moved to Minot in October of 2023. He likes to read history books, play with his dog and go fishing. When speaking to Waylon, it was evident that his sense of adventure and love for new experiences is real. He told the Northern Sentry that he absolutely loves to go fishing, both ice fishing and regular, because as he said, “they each have their pros and cons.” He joyfully shared a fishing story about a mink trying to steal their smallmouth bass, which he and his dad thought was hilarious! He loves his dad, his family and fishing. He described the thrill of fishing saying, “You don’t know what you’re going to catch, or if you’re going to catch anything at all!”

Waylon told the Northern Sentry that he has lived in four different places in his short lifetime and described them all from a child’s point of view. Waylon said he was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, at F. E Warren AFB, and that’s where he met his best friend! He described their next assignment at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, as hot, but that’s okay because his best friend there lived right next door. A few years later, his family moved to Aviano AB in Italy where Waylon said he loved that they had “mountains so close by and fruit trees in their yard”.

Waylon’s favorite part of Minot is the Roosevelt Park Zoo. He is excited about the summer because he can’t wait to go to the zoo, then afterward walk across the street to attend a Hot Tots baseball game! The Cooper family arrived late in the season last year, so they haven’t been able to attend a game yet, but they are very excited to do so.

When asked what he thinks his active duty dad does in the Air Force he replied matter of factly stated: “Well, he’s one of the munitions Chiefs, he just sits at a desk and works all day, then he comes home.” Waylon said the absolute best part of being a military kid is “going everywhere.” He has obviously embraced the adventurous part of the military kid lifestyle because he said that someday he wants to visit the North Pole.

Every mil kid has a different story and journey, this is just one. Thanks for being a Military Kid, Waylon!

One of Waylon’s most favorite things to do is fishing! Pictured here, he’s ice fishing on Lake Darling taken this past winter.

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