* * A VOICE OF DEMOCRACY THANK YOU FROM "VERMONT'S" WINNER * *
To everyone in the VFW organization: Local Post 6471 in Manchester and The Ladies Auxiliary, Southern Vermont
District #1 and the Ladies Auxiliary, and VT VFW State Department and Ladies Auxiliary. Thank you so much for the support and
encouragement you showed me throughout this Voice of Democracy odyssey. I was very proud to represent Vermont, for every day
I realize more deeply how much I love this state and the caliber of the people who live in it. On the eve after my return from
Washington DC, having placed lower than, I suppose, we all would have liked to see me place, I can tell you that my heart and my
spirit remain happy and strong, my attitude upbeat and full of optimism. This is not only because of a belief in myself that my
family has nurtured in me through the years, but from the genuine faith your organization has continuously shown me, first in
the Patriots Pen in 2010/11, and now the VOD in 2012/13.
Both these scholarship contests served to make me acutely aware of the many reasons I love my country; but also the wonderful
discovery that love my home state of Vermont more than ever. To achieve high placements within contests is one thing, but to not
achieve it, and still have the security of knowing that oneís state and oneís family is still proud of you, is a gift that helps
to shape oneís character for life. I tried my best with this essay, and regardless of the outcome nationally, I am happy with what
I wrote because it reflected my personal perceptions and my integrity. I didnít write what I thought would win, I wrote what I
genuinely believed. At each level of judging, the VFW of Vermont heard that belief and, thus, you heard my integrity. You put your
faith in me, and I cannot tell you the level of confidence you instilled in me because of it. I put a lot of time and effort into
discovering the history of our nationís Constitution and what it really means to each of us as individuals, and this is something
no lower place finish can ever take away from me. You really made me feel like my voice was a voice worth hearing. Then, as if that
wasnít enough, you gave me this wonderful chance to experience our nationís history firsthand in Washington DC, and another still
upcoming at Valley Forge in June! I will carry everything that Iím learning from all these VFW experiences forward with me in life,
and apply a piece of them to everything I do and eventually become.
I meant it when I said that you make us feel like we can make a difference. Please know that you have made a difference in my
Contact: Adam E. Stein at U S Marshal Service for more information:
Department of Vermont has signed a Memorandum of Agreement
with Excelsior College, a recognized and highly respected distance learning institutioin of advanced education, to provide the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Ladies Auxillary, Men's Auxillary members at
as corporate partners receive. To read the MOA, review acceptable sources of undergraduate credit, and to see the current tuition and fee schedule.
You visit the Excelsior College Veterans of Foreign Wars partnership page http://www.excelsior.edu/vfw-department-of-vermont to learn more.