VFW Names Winners of Essay Contests
Each year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars conducts patriotic essay competitions for middle and high school students nationwide. Moore County competitions were conducted by the Southern Pines VFW Post 7318.
Subsequent VFW District level competitions selected winners from county winners of Anson, Hoke, Lee, Moore, Montgomery and Richmond counties.
The local Southern Pines VFW Post 7318 received Moore County entries from Westmoore Elementary, New Century and Southern Middle Schools and the middle school at O'Neal for the VFW "Patriot's Pen" competition. The essay theme was "Citizenship in America."
The winners were: 1. Austin B. Puleo, seventh grade at The O'Neal Middle School; 2. Michael Cain Hall, seventh grade at Westmoore Elementary School; 3. Austin K. Van Der Veen, eighth grade at The O'Neal Middle School; 4. Jordan B. Willett, eighth grade, New Century Middle School; and 5. Alexandra Abell, eighth grade, The O'Neal Middle School.
The Moore County VFW Voice of Democracy high school competition theme was "Freedom's Challenge."
The winners were: 1. Ben Berk, 10th grade at Pinecrest High School; 2. Andrew M. Garrison, 12th grade at Pinecrest; and 3. Laura J. Puleo at The O'Neal Upper School.
The county competition is followed by a VFW District Competition, and for the "Patriot's Pen" competition. At this level, Jordan B. Willett of New Century Middle School was awarded first place. Willett now moves on to the VFW statewide competition in January.
In the VFW District level "Voice of Democracy" high school competition, VFW Post 7318's local winner, Ben Berk, also won first place. Berk has advanced to the VFW statewide competition.
Winners of the state competitions will compete nationally in March.
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