By Woodrow Polston
Last week, members of the Auxiliary to VFW Post 2173 visited Van-Far high school to award five students who were chosen as the 2023 winners for the Patriot’s Pen essay.
Submissions were narrowed down to three winners and two honorable mentions from approximately 80 entries that were received. Post 2173 President Victoria Shaw presented the winners with certificates and envelopes that contained prize money for the multiple winners of the contest. Post 2173 Secretary Joy Davis congratulated the winners for their efforts to honor veterans.
“Congratulations to you all and we appreciate your essays on ‘My Pledge to Veterans,’ said Davis. “They were all interesting and we really appreciated how you talked about someone who was a veteran in your family. The first-place essay was read at the Auxiliary meeting last week, so you have been publicized,” she added.
In his essay, first place winner Garrett Hopke pledged to remember the sacrifices of veterans.
“My pledge to the veterans is to remember them,” said Hopke. “To remember what they did and to acknowledge their service. They should all be acknowledged because they all helped in one way or another,” he added.
The first-place winner was Garrett Hopke, who was awarded $25, second place was Ebony Fraction, who was awarded $20, third place was Lilly Breden, who was awarded $15, Peyton Kirn and Daquan Martin each received the honorable mention and received $10 to share. The winners of the essay contest are all eighth-grade students in the Communications Arts class of Mrs. Nikki Gibson.