Two students honored for their essays on veteran care
Two R-1 students from Cole County were recognized by the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 5 for their veteran care essays.
Jillian Schmidt, a sophomore, and Emily Jurgle, a junior, submitted 450-500 word essays to the Americanism Essay Contest under the prompt “How can we support families caring for their Veterans?”
Paula Harmon and Charlotte Dudenhoeffer each presented an award for winning first place at the unit level and district level in front of their class and families at Russellville High School. Both essays will head to the state competition in July.
Harmon said he judged 200 ninth-12th graders and was “blown away” by each one.
Schmidt’s essay talked about different ways to care for veterans and bring the community together behind this cause.
“They are our history. Without (veterans) we don’t know what happened. And they’ve been through so much, and if you don’t serve, you don’t understand what they’re going through,” she said. .
The price came as a surprise.
“All Ms. Crider told me was that you better be here from 2:10 p.m. to 2:40 p.m.,” Schmidt said. In fact, she was so focused on finding her place that she didn’t notice her family sitting at the back of the class until after the presentation.
“We really loved what you said about caregivers, and you called them by name, and that was fantastic, because that’s actually what we were looking for,” Harmon told Schmidt during the presentation. of its price.
Jurgle said her essay came from conversations with her mother, who is a traveling certified practical nurse who cares for veterans. She asked who takes care of veterans who cannot afford health care or cannot qualify for health insurance.
“So I wanted to write about it and talk about how important it is for us to do something because they sacrificed their lives for us, so why shouldn’t we do it for them?” she says.
Her essay was about ways to help as a community.
Harmon said she read Jurgle’s essay aloud, and one of the judging women was moved to tears because of the way he talked about a community gathering to help his veterans.
Dudenhoeffer, herself a veteran, was grateful for the student support.
“From me personally, I want to thank each and every one of you, for all that you do, all the support that you give to your veterans and the families of veterans. Thank you very much,” Dudenhoeffer told the students.