Veterans Day Essay Contest

Virginia War Memorial 2017 Veterans Day Essay Contest
Sponsored by Haley Buick GMC Midlothian

Winners read their winning essays at the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Veterans Day Ceremony November 11, 2017.  

2017 Virginia War Memorial Veterans Day essay winners:  Back Row (L-R) Barry Moore/Haley Buick/GMC - essay sponsor; Carlos Hopkins - Secretary, Veterans and Defense Affairs, Commonwealth of Virginia; High School essay winner - Kevin Amoroso and John Newby - Commissioner Virginia Department of Veterans Services.  Front Row - Middle School essay winner - Annika Plunkett.


The High School winner was Kevin Amoroso a 9th grader at Carver College and Career Academy in Chesterfield County. His teacher is Stephanie O'Neil.  

Kevin is being congratulated by Carlos Hopkins - Secretary, Veterans and Defense Affairs, Commonwealth of Virginia.

(click to read Kevin's winning essay)

Annika Plunkett, 6th grader at James Madison Middle School in Roanoke City, was this year's Middle School essay winner. Her teacher is Angela Kryl.

Carlos Hopkins - Secretary, Veterans and Defense Affairs, Commonwealth of Virginia is congratulating Annika.

(click to read Annika's winning essay)

2017 Veterans Day Essay Contest (CLOSED)

“It’s a funny thing about coming home. Looks the same, smells the same, feels the same. You realize what has changed is you.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

2016 Veterans Day Essay winners with parents and Governor McAuliffe.2016 Veterans Day Essay winners with
their parents and Governor McAuliffe.
Write about the idea of “home” and “homecoming” for American soldiers and veterans. You may write about a specific person, specific war, or incorporate a variety of examples. However, you must demonstrate use of primary research (letters, newspapers, interviews, etc.) to make your argument. Your essay should address questions like what does it mean to leave home? To return? How do people’s experiences differ?  What remains constant despite the passage of time? How can we make home a better place for our veterans? You do not have to answer each of these questions directly; instead, use them as a

guide when framing the way you discuss the concept of home.

While the methods of warfare and nature of battle have changed over time, one thing remains consistent: young men and women leave their lives and families behind. Both leaving and returning home can be life changing experiences for many, and the meaning of home can change drastically during a war. Home can be different things, whether it is defined by one’s family, community, or nation.

Submissions should be 500-750 words. Successful submissions will directly address the prompt and will incorporate more than one primary source. We have provided a few resources on the topic of “home” and the military on our website to inspire some ideas, but do not only use those resources. You must provide a bibliography in either APA or MLA style. Use of proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation is a must.    

This contest is open to all middle and high school public, private, or homeschooled students living in Virginia. A winning entry will be chosen from each age group. Submissions will be judged by Virginia War Memorial staff and members of our sponsoring organization, Haley Buick GMC Midlothian.

Entries are due Friday, October 20, 2017 by 11:59 p.m. Rules and guidelines are available HERE.

Winners will receive $250 courtesy of Haley Buick GMC Midlothian and will be invited to read their winning submission aloud at the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Veterans Day Ceremony. In addition, the teacher of the winning student will receive $100 to be used for their classroom.   

RESOURCES (click on title to access that file):

How to Act at Home     Emory Letter     The Post baby poster