“If you don’t take time to do it right, when will you ever have time to do it over?”
That was the theme 14 year-old Aaron P. Mankin delivered to his 1997 graduating class of Elmwood Junior High in Rogers, Arkansas. Mankin went on to continually follow that advice he received from his grandfather, a Navy veteran of WWII.
In 1999 Mankin became the Arkansas State Debate Champion at the age of 17. The honor included multiple awards for public speaking and eventually led to his becoming the first student in the history of Arkansas high school forensics to qualify for national-level debate competitions. As a senior his ten entries for the Arkansas Association of Instructional Media's statewide competition in the photography and videography categories won him nine awards, sweeping two divisions and placing first, four times. In 2000, Mankin graduated with Honors from Rogers High School.
In February, 2005 he was deployed to Iraq where he served in Operation Iraqi Freedom as a Combat Correspondent.
Cpl. Mankin was assigned to Operation Matador, an eleven-day mission in Northern Iraq along the Syrian border intended to intervene and interrupt the flow of militant insurgents in and out of both countries. On the seventh day of the campaign Cpl. Mankin was severely wounded near New Ubaydi in the Al Anbar province when an IED destroyed his 26-ton amphibious assault vehicle, fatally wounding six Marines. He was immediately transported to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas for treatment of the wounds he suffered in the attack. While undergoing physical therapy and now just short of 60 surgeries, Cpl. Mankin was awarded the Purple Heart and the Navy Achievement Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device for Valor.
One year later he became the proud parent of Madeline Paige Mankin. Mankin was medically retired in March, 2008 and he welcomed his son Hunter to the family on September 11.
In addition to being the keynote speaker at many local and national events, Mankin has been featured on programs and publications such as CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, Lou Dobbs Tonight and Heidi Collins Shows, ABC Dateline with Bob Woodruff, Oliver North's War Stories for Fox News, The Don Imus Show, the Hugh Hewitt Show, Paul Harvey News, National Public Radio, Best Life Magazine and others.
In December, 2008 Mankin was awarded the USO's George Van Cleave Military Leadership Award and named Marine of the Year for outstanding commitment, exceptional service, sacrifice, and personal achievements that have shown extraordinary dedication to the country. The award is given to service members who through their selfless commitment to country inspires others and uplifts the spirits of their comrades, their families, and the American people.
Emma Mae Jenkins
Emma Mae Jenkins is the daughter of Jason and Amanda Jenkins and a big sister to her 15 year old brother, Nolan.
She is 18 years old and currently a senior at Bentonville High School, in Bentonville, Arkansas. She is the all body student president of her high school of 3200 students, member of the Acapella Choir, teammate of the Bentonville Soccer team, and leads the Outreach for Christ Club on campus.
She is a blogger and a social media influencer using her social media platform of YouTube and Instagram to help lead her generation into having a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ.
She is currently writing her first devotional book and has a passion to travel and speak to her generation about how to let their light shine unashamedly for Jesus. Emma has a fire inside of her to influence and encourage her generation to embrace their uniqueness that God has blessed them with and use it for the purpose of building God's kingdom.
Kristen Hatton is the author of Face Time: Your Identity in a Selfie World for teen girls and the teen devotional Get Your Story Straight. She is also a speaker, Bible study leader and blogger. In addition to her own blog, she is a frequent contributor to the Rooted Ministry blog and the enCourage women’s blog. She resides in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her pastor husband, and they have three teenagers. To learn more, visit www.kristenhatton.com
To be announced!
To be announced!