VFW Post 8568 hosts scholarship awards
By Kristina Miller
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8568 and Auxiliary hosted the 2022-2023 Scholarship Awards Banquet Monday.
In the fall, the VFW sponsored a Patriot’s Pen essay contest for junior high students. Livingston Junior High student Josylin Clark placed third for the post, White Oak Middle School student, Brady Mears placed second and LJH student Edward Turk placed first. The students read their essays aloud and were presented with medals and a cash scholarship. Post Commander Sinnett told the students “Your words about your pledge to veterans and why veterans are important made several voting members tear up when they read the essays.”
Jacob Mears from New Caney High School won the high school Voice of Democracy contest, which is also sponsored by VFW and presented a speech on his entry and then received his medal and cash scholarship.
LJH teacher Hattie Criswell was honored as Teacher of the Year by the post and received a token of appreciation. Post Quartermaster Dannelle Reichert stated that Criswell is also a coworker and that she has a “beautiful soul, knows her curriculum and makes people feel welcomed at LJH.” Post Commander Sinnett said, “Education is a tough career field and you work each day with compassion and grace. Thank you for your hard work in shaping the future generation.”
During the event, the Livingston High School Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NNDCC) posted the colors. The Navy Choir followed by singing the National Anthem and “God Bless the U.S.A.” A prayer was led by Post Chaplin, David Peltier and Post Commander Phillip Sinnet greeted guests. A pasta dinner was served and Reichert presented a welcoming address.
Cadet Ensign Jamie Hopson of the NNDCC provided an overview of the LHS program and talked about how the program has grown from 37 cadets to 123 through the years. She discussed various awards and recognition that the program has received, then shared about her personal experience in the program. She spoke of how the cadets learn leadership skills, teamwork, honor, effective communication skills and that the program provides opportunities for students to lead in various positions. Hopson stated that, through the program, she “gained family members and a support system.”
The evening ended with Penny Uselton of the Auxiliary speaking to the guests, stating, “It’s nice to see some young people are being taught at homes and school about the importance of our country, our freedom and our veterans.”
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