Three middle school students from Mother Seton School in Emmitsburg received the top awards in the 2022-2023 Patriot Pen Essay Contest, sponsored by Veterans of Foreign Wars Posts 6658 (Emmitsburg) and 467 (Molleville Farm Westminster). Writing on the theme of “My Pledge to Our Veterans,” Emma Simmons (grade 8, pictured on right) earned first place for VFW Post 6658, while Olivia Jaeger (grade 8, pictured on left) took home third-place honors. Eva Doll (grade 7, pictured middle) earned first place for VFW Post 467. First-place winners’ essays will advance to the District Level to compete.
“There are so many things I could have my pledge as. I could do service work for retired Veterans. I could volunteer at a soup kitchen,” wrote Eva Doll in her essay. “Instead of choosing to do one of those I chose to remember what all Veterans did for our country and all they lost while doing it.”
Emma Simmons expressed a similar sentiment in her essay. “My pledge is to follow their example and stand up for what I believe is right. I pledge to remember all Veterans in my prayers.” Meanwhile, Olivia Jaeger addressed the issues facing many Veterans in her essay. She wrote, “My pledge’s main idea is that (Veterans) need to be seen. They need to be helped…They also need to be assisted in the sense that many Veterans struggle with PTSD, depression, and homelessness.”