CHAFFEE, MO (KFVS) - A Southeast Missouri woman earned a very prestigious award while serving her country overseas.
Senior Airman Lauren Everett earned the title of Airman of the Year for U.S. Air Force for the Europe and Africa forces.
"I'm just so proud of her," said mother Becky Smith-Everett.
"Reading it, I was like oh my, this is a big deal," said father Randy Everett.
The Everett parents are beyond proud of their little girl. Their daughter Lauren Everett received the airman of the year award from the United States Air Force in Europe and Africa.
"It's an honor that we never dreamed, we knew that she was an over achiever, but as far as this, it just means so much to us," said Becky Smith-Everett.
"She's done a lot of neat things while she's been in the military, but it's really cool to win something like Airman of the Year for Europe and Africa," said Randy Everett.
Everett's sister Lindsey is just a few months younger, and while growing up they had their fair share of competition, now she can't be more supportive of her sister.
"It's a big honor for us too, we're a little bias, we've always been very proud of her, and she's always excelled at everything she's done, but seeing that recognized from an outside perspective and one as influential as the Air Force, meant a lot," said Lindsey Everett.
Even though she's a winner, the family said Everett is quite humble.
"Each level that she passed she would say mom don't get your hopes up, there's a lot of people that do a lot of great things in the Air Force," Becky Smith-Everett.
"She's very modest and very humble, so I think she's getting a little embarrassed with everybody asking how she feels, and what's going on with that," said Lindsey Everett.
Parents and sister tell me they rarely get to see Everett, and usually can only talk to her via email.
So while some would say this award helps make up for the distance, in typical loving dad form, Randy Everett doesn't agree.
"I'd rather have her here," said Randy Everett.
Even though they would love to have their sister and daughter home, the Everetts are proud to call her Airman of the Year.
"I think she represents the Heartland as well and I think everybody takes pride in that," said Becky Smith-Everett.
"We're very proud of her, we love her and we miss her and congratulations," said Lindsey Everett.
Everett entered the Air Force in 2008 and graduated with honors. She's based in the United Kingdom.