Heroes Elementary School students take top honors in essay contest - Camp Lejeune Globe: Carolina Living

Heroes Elementary School students take top honors in essay contest

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Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2019 4:20 pm

Two Heroes Elementary School students were announced as winners of the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) Art and Essay Contest. Lila Turner won the grades three and four category while Grant Peterson brought home the win at the grade five and six level.

Writers were asked to select from the topics “How the Armed Services YMCA Has Helped Me” or “My Greatest Challenge as a Military Child Has Been…” for their essays. Both Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune students opted for the latter. Peterson noted a challenge many military families face - moving.

“Most military kids are used to seeing rooms full of brown boxes stacked on top of furniture and against the walls,” Peterson wrote.

Turner’s essay dealt with a common thread among military families – the distance between service members and their children. Her father is currently on a ten-month deployment to Afghanistan.

“I miss my dad a lot,” said Turner in her essay. “Before he left on deployment he took me camping, just the two of us. He taught me how to build a fire and we cooked steaks. He also let me drink Sprite and eat s’mores.”

Despite their shared tough experiences, the essays also contained a degree of optimism at the prospect of being a military child.

“I realized that a military child can get through anything with help from his/her peers and family,” Peterson’s essay said. “I also learned that family and friends are irreplaceable, and I (would) rather lose my stuff than them. I am grateful that no matter where we live, I have my family and friends worldwide.”

Turner’s essay noted the strategy her family uses to stay positive during deployments.

“Before my dad left, my mom bought a box of Hershey chocolate kisses and put them in a jar,” wrote Turner. “...every morning my sister and I eat one chocolate kiss. When all the chocolate kisses are gone my daddy will be home!”

“The annual Armed Services YMCA Art & Essay contest is a compelling look into the lives of the children in military families,” said William French, President/CEO of the Armed Services YMCA. “The entries showed how much love military children have for their families as well as the challenges these children face.”

For a list of winners from the contest, visit asymca.org/blog/armed-services-announcesarts-essay-contest-winners

For more information about the ASYMCA, visit asymca.org.

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