Study Hard, Win Big: Navarre Military Child Wins $1,500 Second Prize for Academic Achievement at Hurlburt Field

You Made the Grade Winner, Hurlburt Field

Gordon (center) shows off his prize with mom, Tetyana; brother, Grant; dad, Gordon; and Hurlburt Field Exchange store manager Barbara Ross.

HURLBURT FIELD – When Gordon Goetz found out he was the second-prize winner of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s worldwide You Made the Grade sweepstakes, he couldn’t believe his luck.

“My first thought was ‘oh my gosh,’” he said. “This has never happened to me before.”

Gordon received his prize, a $1,500 Exchange gift card, at a presentation July 26 at the Hurlburt Field Exchange.

“Gordon is a bright student, and the Exchange is honored to recognize his academic achievement,” said Hurlburt Field Exchange General Manager Myra Florence. “His resilience and determination make him an inspiration to military children around the world.”

First- through 12th-graders who maintain a B average or higher can enter the sweepstakes for a chance at a $2,000, $1,500 or $500 Exchange gift card. Gordon was randomly selected from more than 1,000 entries.

Gordon, 12, is the oldest son of retired Marine Corps Master Sgt. Gordon R. Goetz and wife Tetyana. Master Sgt. Goetz served 21 years, deploying to Kuwait and Iraq as part Desert Storm as well as Beirut before retiring in 1997.

Gordon and his brother Grant, 7, both entered the sweepstakes after an associate at the Hurlburt Field Exchange informed the family about the contest.

“This was the third or fourth time we’ve entered,” Master Sgt. Goetz said. “[Gordon’s win] was a nice surprise.”

Besides excelling in academics, Gordon has a passion for sports and computers. His favorite activities include golf, playing video games, watching YouTube—and researching his favorite scientific topics.

“I’m really interested in atomic and nuclear science,” he said. “I’d like to get a new computer and monitor [with my prize money].”

But first, Gordon has something generous in mind.

“I’m going to get something for my little brother,” he said. “He’s always been there for me.”

For more information about the You Made the Grade program, students and guardians can contact the Hurlburt Field Exchange at 850-581-8225. Students can send You Made the Grade sweepstakes entry forms to:

You Made the Grade

PO Box 227398

Dallas, TX 75222-7398

Facebook-friendly version: When Gordon Goetz found out he was the second-prize winner of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s worldwide You Made the Grade sweepstakes, he couldn’t believe his luck. Read more:


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Since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) has gone where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives by providing valued goods and services at exclusive military pricing. The Exchange is the 62nd-largest retailer in the United States. Its earnings provided $2.3 billion in dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs over the last 10 years. The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors. The Exchange is a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, planning and conducting events and activities that recognize the service, valor and sacrifice of Vietnam Veterans and their families in conjunction with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at




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