3Mineral County High School students recently competed in the annual VFW “Voice of Democracy” and “Patriot’s Pen” patriotic writing contests.

Winners were named. Mina Post 2668 named the following as winners: Voice of Democracy – Jordanne Pena; Patriot’s Pen, first place: Taegon Tommila; second place: Drayk Larramendy and third place: Claudia Berton-Nielson. Schurz Post 6825 winners were: Patriot’s Pen, first place: Destanie Kohe-Merrit; second place: Katlyn LeaMcune and third place: Juliet Hernandez and Hawthorne Post 2313 winners were: Voice of Democracy – Mykayla Dumar; Patriot’s Pen, first place: Jerzi Moody; second place: Kendalle Dumar; third place: Perla Farias and fourth place: Tholia Landa.

The topics were chosen by National VFW Commander-in-Chief and Hawthorne resident, John Stroud. The topics were: Voice of Democracy “Why are Veterans Important in our History and Future” and Patriot’s Pen topic “Why I Appreciate American Veterans”.

District 4 winners are: James Rowsen – Patriot’s Pen and Jordanne Pena – Voice of Democracy. Pena is a senior at Mineral County High School, the daughter of Ben Pena and Melissa Cardenas and hopes to pursue a career as a physician’s assistant in college.

The following is her speech which will be given at State competition over the weekend:

Why Are Veterans Important to Our History and Future?

Veterans are very important to our history and future because not only did they help shape America into what it is today by being selfless and fearless. Also, they will help continue to build America into an even more outstand and courageous country while making Americans proud for years to come.

Veterans have fought and defended our country for hundreds of years, which is a very noble and brave thing to do. They have also helped in protecting our rights as Americans and make a huge impact every day, it may be silent impact but there still is a great one.

Millions of men and women solider from the past to the present have impacted history and will continue to impact the future. They have helped to keep Americans safe 24/7 and also help to make sure we have our rights and civil liberties. Throughout history they have done the same thing. Some of those times in the past have been during times of need, such as when natural disasters strike and when our freedom is threatened. They have been part of history by doing selfless act for our country as well as others. They have taken down many violent leaders and terrorist of other countries just to make sure they won’t pose a threat to the millions of Americans. Not only do they just protect Americans they protect anyone who is in need.

The men and women in the Armed Forces have made us into the fearless nation we are today and continue to keep the history of America alive. They have sacrificed so much and some have paid the ultimate price. These men and women are the reason that I, as a woman, am able to have some of the luxuries and rights I do. Some of that right is being able to attend a public school and further my education by going to a college of my choice. They keep our freedom alive and going. All these brave men and women have protected us and America has never been invade and taken over, we are so lucky to be able say that as many countries aren’t able to enjoy the same civil liberties.

Veterans have many other duties and do many other things for our nation as well as others. For example, when the men from Vietnam came back from war they wrote about their experiences and what they went through. They also came back and educated the nation on the conflicts over seas.

Many veterans come back and fall into what we could call a normal American life. They get married, have kids, get jobs, and some even continue to help. Many medics that were deployed come back and continue to work in hospitals, some veteran hospitals and some just regular hospitals. They are the people that can save your life, in foreign war and on American soil.

The effects of veterans and war have made a huge impact on medical advance. Since the beginning of war, the technology has greatly improved. We are able to make medical advance to help these brave humans in the battlefield and give them a better chance at surviving after being blown up by bombs.

These are just a few reasons why Veterans are important to our history and future, they are educators, they help advancements in the medical field, they sacrifice everything for our freedom and they save the lives of our loved ones and maybe even us one day.

Without the Veterans our nation would not be the great nation it is today. Veterans are truly America’s foundation and rock.