Veterans of Foreign Wars honors young essay writers from Dayton, Carson City

Post 8660 of Veterans of Foreign Wars has 318 reasons to be impressed.

That’s how many middle and high school students participated in the group’s annual patriotic essay contest.

The students, all from Dayton and Carson City, were tasked with writing at least 500 words about patriotism and what it means to them.

The submissions detailed the essence of patriotism and citizenship and the writers’ own experiences in American society.

The top winners include high school senior Samantha Lewis and middle schoolers Amanda Loberg, Emily Ballesteros and Lucas Coyle.

John E. Alexander, the post’s chairman of community activities and himself a Vietnam War veteran, was impressed with the talent shown by the essayists.

“Every student who submitted is a winner. They went above and beyond what was expected. I tell them they have bragging rights,” Alexander said.

Alexander said the contest is held annually so students have a chance to “voice what they think about our government, dig around for information and widen their horizons.”

The contest is just one of the ways the service organization works toward its mission of improving the lives of veterans, military personnel, students and the community in which it operates.

For information about the Dayton Valley post, go to


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