VFW Essay Contest Winners Awarded

Members of the VFW posed with student winners and Barnegat teachers that attended the meeting. (Photo by Kimberly Bosco)

BARNEGAT – At a recent Barnegat Township Committee meeting, the local Veterans of Foreign Wars presented the winners of the youth essay contests, The Patriot’s Pen and The Voice of Democracy.

The two essay contests, sponsored by the VFW, are conducted nationwide and are meant to provide students with an opportunity to express their views on a specific patriotic theme, according to The Patriot’s Pen website. The Patriot’s Pen contest was open to Barnegat’s middle school students, grades 6-8. The Voice of Democracy was open to Barnegat High School juniors and seniors.

“The programs are well-noted and well known in the district,” said veteran Jake Taylor during the committee meeting.

This year’s theme for the young writers of The Patriot’s Pen was “America’s Gift to My Generation.” For The Voice of Democracy, students wrote about “Our Hope for the Future.” The winners of each essay contest are as follows:


The Patriot’s Pen:

First Place – Emma J. Carman

Second Place – Lexy McGinnis

Third Place – John Panico

The Voice of Democracy:

First Place – Justin M. Bach

Second Place – Brigid M. Harrington

Third Place – Anthony Forte

Each of the winners received a gift certificate for $100 and special dog tag with their name and the year engraved on it.  First place winners, Emma J. Carman and Justin M. Bach, stood before the committee and attendees of the meeting to read aloud their prize-winning essays.

Taylor noted that the educators of the Barnegat schools have been doing a great job with the students, like Carman and Bach, and praised the students for their wonderful writing.

“The students should be aware of what our veterans do,” said Board of Education President Scott Sarno at the meeting.