This year’s winners of the 2021 Veterans Day Essay Contest are:
- Camryn McClellan, 6th Grade – Richardson Middle School
- Jamie Scott, 6th Grade – Springton Lake Middle School
- Angelina Frazier, 6th Grade – Springton Lake Middle School
First Place- Camryn McClellan
On his 75th mission over Vietnam, Navy pilot captain Charlie Plumb was shot down by enemy fire. He was a 24-year-old Naval academy graduate when he went into combat. On May 19, 1967, 5 days before the end of his tour, flying his F-4 phantom jet, he was shot down and captured. He survived six years as a prisoner of war (POW), until his release on February 18, 1973. Even after the hardships of six years as a POW, he stayed in the Navy reserves until his retirement in 1991. What makes him deserving of recognition is not only the two purple hearts, the Legion of Merit, The Silver Star, the Bronze Star, or the POW medal, it is how he talked about the horror of war and was open and honest about his time as a POW. He became a professional speaker, a business consultant, and continues to fly to this day. Captain Plumb may say he’s not a hero, but people don’t get to decide whether they are heroes or not. Captain Plumb is a hero to me. Thank you Captain Charlie Plumb.
Second Place- Jamie Scott
My Great Uncle Paul was a very brave man. He still is to this day. He persevered through some crazy things. He used to be in the army. Unfortunately, one day, he was drafted to the Vietnam War. Little did he know, it would change his life forever. He served from 1968-1975. He had to crawl around in tunnels built for missions and fight for his survival. It was very scary for him. I’d be scared if I had to go through what he had. He knew at any moment he could die. He was in the actual fighting division in the Vietnam war. He fought for so long and persevered through it like a true warrior. After seven years of traumatizing battle, the war was over and my Great Uncle Paul was sent home. He’s now retired in North Carolina living his days at the beach. The only thing I have had to remind me of him is his 21st Corp patch. I look at it every day when I sit at my desk and remember how he fought for our country. God bless him for fighting for the country’s safety, freedom, and spirit. He will never be forgotten.
Third Place- Angelina Frazier
My Uncle joined the military to work in aviation. His grandfather and his dad were both in the Army, which my Uncle decided to join as well. He served 6 years, including three tours overseas supporting Operation Enduring Freedom stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and Operation Iraqi Freedom stationed in Mosul and Balad, Iraq. My Uncle’s career in the military started by taking the Armed Services Vocational Battery test and basic training at Fort Benning, GA. My uncle was strong in Mathematics from his time at Morehouse University and scored very high in his technical exam.
While serving in the military, my Uncle Aaron maintained CH 47 Chinooks helicopters and UH 60 Blackhawks. One of his favorite memories from his time in the military was flying the helicopters. While in the military, he built lifetime friendships, along with discipline and technical skills. My Uncle Aaron enjoyed the leadership experience he learned in the military, along with mental and physical strength. This helped him to be successful after his service.
Congratulations to all 3 of our winners, and thank you to every student who submitted to our contest!