HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - “I was just over the moon with joy and proud of him and I expressed how proud of him I was."
A Bob Jones High School graduate is making his mother and community very proud. We introduced you to the Edwards and Richardson family last Thanksgiving when Kausha Edwards held a community flag football game to stop childhood violence.
Now her son is receiving military honors.
Kausha Richardson says as a single mom Eliyjsha’s childhood was not easy.
"Eliyjsha was born he had separation and social anxiety so anytime we had to go from one place to another place or transfer environments it would just freak him out,” Edwards said.
She says Eliyjsha’s uncle Ryan was like a father to him, but he was murdered standing up for a childhood friend who was being bullied when Eliyjsha was 10.
Despite all of that, Elijysha worked hard and joined the Air Force. Right now he is at the Air Combat Command in Las Vegas.
Last week he found out he won Airman of the Year at the squadron level, and was promoted.
"I can imagine and I can feel it in my heart how proud he [Ryan] is of him. And that’s another layer of excitement for me,” Edwards said.
“I’m a civil engineer in the Air Force so my number one mission is to make sure this base and every base that I go to is running at full capacity. I just do my job, that’s all. And you know if accolades come with it then so be it, I’m happy for them. I’ll always be grateful for them,” Richardson said.
Kausha Edwards now has a nonprofit named RYAN, for her brother designed to help prevent childhood violence. She says people often use their past as an excuse to not excel. However, she hopes everyone watching knows they can be whatever they set their mind to.
“He broke those stigmas. I was homeless. Nobody thought that we would be anything. Don’t let that stop you. Don’t let somebody what they stay stop you from what you believe you can become. He got awarded and he recognized his team. That’s Eliyjsha.”