RED JACKET – Faith Hensley, a senior at Mingo Central High School (MCHS) was presented with an award from the Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) Wednesday, Feb. 17 for an essay entered into the annual VFW Voice of Democracy Competition.
Hensley placed fourth in the state in the competition. Hensley commented, “I had no idea anyone- much less the Delbarton VFW Post was coming, and I had no idea they were there for me until they called out my name! I placed 4th in the state in the annual VFW Voice of Democracy speech competition out of 384 entries.”
The Delbarton VFW presented Hensley with a number of items. “They surprised me with a medal, a trophy, a beautiful red rose bouquet, and a backpack stuffed with pins, a notepad, a writing pen, a lanyard, and a hand signed letter from the State Commander,” Hensley stated.
“It was one of the most honoring, emotional award presentations I have ever been involved in,” Hensley continued.
At the award presentation, Hensley read her award winning essay. “They asked me if I had my speech and then asked me to read it. I was 100 percent off-guard and fairly nervous, but I read it aloud to the Delbarton chapter, several teachers and counselors, and all of the juniors and seniors at MCHS. It was a true honor and something I will never forget,” Hensley explained.
The Voice of Democracy competition is an annual event. The Voice of Democracy speech competition is for high school students. A similar competition is held for middle school students called Patriot’s Pen.
First place state winners move on to nationals in Washington D.C and are awarded a $1,000 scholarship with the opportunity to win even more scholarship money. “I highly recommend this competition to anyone, and I wish I had discovered it before my senior year,” Hensley explained.
The VFW Auxiliary website states, “In 1965 the VFW Auxiliary began to cosponsor the Voice of Democracy Audio/Essay Contest, which had been adopted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1961. The purpose of this program is to encourage high school students to compete for National Scholarships by writing scripts on a patriotic theme and recording their messages on tape. The Patriot’s Pen contest is open to middle school-age students and is an essay on a patriotic theme.”
For more information on the Voice of Democracy or the Patriot’s Pen contest, visit http://www.vfw.org/Youth/.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2279.)