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Veterans Day Essay Contest 2009 Gmc

Virginia War Memorial Seeks Entries For 2nd Annual Veterans Day Essay Contest, All Middle School and High School Students Throughout State Eligible To Enter

Posted: September 14, 2017 | Categories: Benefits News, Cemetery News, E&E News, News, Press Releases, VCC News, VVFS News

Contact: Morgan Guyer, VWM, 804.786.2060 (morgan.guyer@dvs.virginia.gov) or

Jeb Hockman, VDVS, 804.482.8497 (jeb.hockman@dvs.virginia.gov )

The Virginia War Memorial is seeking student entries for its Second Annual Veterans Day Essay Contest.

The contest is open to all middle and high school public, private and homeschooled students in Virginia with a winner chosen from each age group.  The theme of this year’s essay is “Home” or “Homecoming” – for American soldiers and veterans.

The writer of the winning essay in each category will receive a $250 prize courtesy of Haley BuickGMC of Midlothian.  The teachers of each winning student will also receive $100 for use in their classroom.

The two winning writers will also be invited to Richmond to read their essays aloud at the Commonwealth’s Veterans Day Ceremony on November 11.

Essays should be 500-750 words in length and must be received at the Virginia War Memorial by 11:59 p.m., October 20, 2017.  All essays will be read and judged by members of the Virginia War Memorial staff and representatives of the sponsor, Haley BuickGMC.

Complete details about the Second Annual Virginia War Memorial Veterans Day Essay Contest are available at www.vawarmemorial.org/essaycontest.

“We are hoping to receive essays from every corner of the state,” said Morgan Guyer, Assistant Director of Education at the Virginia War Memorial. “This contest is an excellent opportunity to recognize and reward the best writing from Virginia’s middle and high school age students.”

About The Virginia War Memorial

The mission of the Virginia War Memorial is to Honor Veterans, Preserve History, EducateYouth and Inspire Patriotism in All.  Dedicated in 1956, the Memorial includes the names of nearly 12,000 Virginia men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and the Global War on Terrorism. The Virginia War Memorial is a division of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and serves as an integral part of its mission in support of all Virginians who served or serve in our military forces. For more information, go to www.vawarmemorial.org .

About VDVS

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS) operates 30 benefit offices throughout the state that assist military veterans and their families in filing claims for federal veterans benefits; two long-term care facilities offering nursing, assisted living, and domiciliary care for veterans; and three cemeteries that provide an honored final resting place for veterans and their families. VDVS provides veterans and family members with direct linkages to services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education and other programs.  The Department also operates the Virginia War Memorial, the Commonwealth’s monument to honor the memory and sacrifice of Virginia’s men and women who served and fought to defend our way of life from World War II to the present. For more information, please visit www.dvs.virginia.gov.

Virginia War Memorial 2017 Veterans Day Essay Contest
Sponsored by Haley Buick GMC Midlothian

Winners read their winning essays at the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Veterans Day Ceremony November 11, 2017.  

2017 Virginia War Memorial Veterans Day essay winners:  Back Row (L-R) Barry Moore/Haley Buick/GMC - essay sponsor; Carlos Hopkins - Secretary, Veterans and Defense Affairs, Commonwealth of Virginia; High School essay winner - Kevin Amoroso and John Newby - Commissioner Virginia Department of Veterans Services.  Front Row - Middle School essay winner - Annika Plunkett.

The High School winner was Kevin Amoroso a 9th grader at Carver College and Career Academy in Chesterfield County. His teacher is Stephanie O'Neil.  

Kevin is being congratulated by Carlos Hopkins - Secretary, Veterans and Defense Affairs, Commonwealth of Virginia.


(click to read Kevin's winning essay)

Annika Plunkett, 6th grader at James Madison Middle School in Roanoke City, was this year's Middle School essay winner. Her teacher is Angela Kryl.

Carlos Hopkins - Secretary, Veterans and Defense Affairs, Commonwealth of Virginia is congratulating Annika.


(click to read Annika's winning essay)




2017 Veterans Day Essay Contest (CLOSED)

“It’s a funny thing about coming home. Looks the same, smells the same, feels the same. You realize what has changed is you.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

2016 Veterans Day Essay winners with
their parents and Governor McAuliffe.
Write about the idea of “home” and “homecoming” for American soldiers and veterans. You may write about a specific person, specific war, or incorporate a variety of examples. However, you must demonstrate use of primary research (letters, newspapers, interviews, etc.) to make your argument. Your essay should address questions like what does it mean to leave home? To return? How do people’s experiences differ?  What remains constant despite the passage of time? How can we make home a better place for our veterans? You do not have to answer each of these questions directly; instead, use them as a

guide when framing the way you discuss the concept of home.

While the methods of warfare and nature of battle have changed over time, one thing remains consistent: young men and women leave their lives and families behind. Both leaving and returning home can be life changing experiences for many, and the meaning of home can change drastically during a war. Home can be different things, whether it is defined by one’s family, community, or nation.

Submissions should be 500-750 words. Successful submissions will directly address the prompt and will incorporate more than one primary source. We have provided a few resources on the topic of “home” and the military on our website to inspire some ideas, but do not only use those resources. You must provide a bibliography in either APA or MLA style. Use of proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation is a must.    

This contest is open to all middle and high school public, private, or homeschooled students living in Virginia. A winning entry will be chosen from each age group. Submissions will be judged by Virginia War Memorial staff and members of our sponsoring organization, Haley Buick GMC Midlothian.

Entries are due Friday, October 20, 2017 by 11:59 p.m. Rules and guidelines are availableHERE.

Winners will receive $250 courtesy of Haley Buick GMC Midlothian and will be invited to read their winning submission aloud at the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Veterans Day Ceremony. In addition, the teacher of the winning student will receive $100 to be used for their classroom.   

RESOURCES (click on title to access that file):

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