Derby High School junior Nathan Keener is a multi-sport student-athlete and a military dependent whose father is serving in the United States Army. Originally from Oklahoma City, Keener has made a few moves over the years eventually landing in Kansas.
“I was born in Oklahoma City and then we moved to Derby, Kansas where most of my family is. After that, we got orders and moved up to Crofton, Maryland. After about two years, we moved down to Elizabethtown, Kentucky and we thought we were going to stay there. But God had other plans and he made it possible for us to move back to what we first called home in a community that we love,” said Keener.
The football and track athlete said he loves competing and representing his school. This season has been a special one for many reasons.
“I love the bond that we have created over the years especially with the seniors. Since they are one year ahead of us, we have basically been around them since I moved here. It’s given me people I can look up to and people that I can talk to. On our football team this year you don’t see a bunch of different clicks that come together and play football. We all love being around each other,” said Keener.
Being part of a military family means Keener and his family members will endure sacrifices only other military families will understand. But the sacrifices they make is part of what makes a military family special.
“The main thing I will always appreciate from being in the military family is meeting new people and seeing new environments. Ultimately that is giving me the skill of empathy because from being around so many different people who have lived such different lives in different areas has helped me value what I have and the situations that God put me in,” said Keener. “Leaving an area that you called home after four years always gave me a sense of loss and sadness. Everywhere I’ve lived before I always made so many plans for the future with my friends regardless of how much I liked the place that we were in. I have always been able to grow deep connections with many friends. So, when we got the call that we had orders to go to another state, it felt as if I was letting my friends down for not following through with the big plans we made. Although moving is difficult because there are so many unknowns, I always had God to lean on and my dog boomer, who grew up with me and helped me through every move.”