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Aug 26, 2022 1:02:37 PM

Armed Services YMCA 2022 Art & Essay Contest

Annual Contest Allows Children to Express a Military Family Lifestyle

The Armed Services YMCA is excited to announce the results of the 2022 Art & Essay Contest. Each year, the Art & Essay Contest serves as a reminder of the sacrifices military children, service members, and their families make for our country. Military children living in the U.S. and abroad can submit their work, and winners are announced at the end of each April — the Month of the Military Child. The annual contest is open to children grades 1-12 of active duty or retired members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard/Reserves, and Space Force.

Military Children Communicating Through Artistic Expression

Participants had much to contribute when asked to reflect on this year’s theme of “Wisdom of the Military Child”. Despite their youth, military children have experienced a lot in their short lives. This year’s 50+ Art and Essay submissions are full of sage observations from entrants.  The challenges of coping with new homes and schools while also missing friends and family were reflected on with grace and resilience. ASYMCA serves to help with these challenges and enable military children to not only thrive but become inspirations.

Art Category

  • Savannah Wiedower, Grade 1, Marines. Savannah expressed her feelings about military life through a self-portrait and accompanying thought bubbles.
  • Matthew Wiedower, Grade 3, Marines. Matthew visualized the duality of military life by depicting both the good and the bad.
  • Emily Friedel, Grade 5, Air Force. Emily contemplated the many things she has learned as a military child, highlighted in the acrostic poem “MILITARY FAMILY.”
  • Deborah Oluwafisoye, Grade 4, Army. Deborah eloquently shares life lessons she has learned being part of a military family.

Essay Category

  • Adeline Guidry, Grade 5, Army. Adeline’s poem notes that despite families’ sacrifices, the armed services serve the greater good and are beneficial both abroad and at home.
  • Makenzie Baker, Grade 7, National Guard. Makenzie’s personal experience as a military child has taught her to look on the bright side and cherish moments with family. 
  • Emma Johnson, Grade 10, Army. Emma’s beautiful poem, “Just Like Flowers,” details the uniqueness of the military child’s experience
  • RP, Grade 12, Air Force. RP’s “Flight of the Military Dependent” counts down the challenges of growing up in the military on their way to launching a successful future.


Vice Admiral William French President and CEO of the ASYMCA said: “The ASYMCA Art & Essay contest shines a spotlight on the children of our military families. Military children face very unique challenges. The contest is an opportunity for them to voice their stories while helping others understand their experience and recognize their resiliency.”

According to the Department of Defense, military children move an average of “six to nine times during a school career.” In addition to a parent’s deployment, their lifestyle may present many unique challenges including separation from family, no consistent community and learning loss due to continual moves. The ASYMCA Art & Essay Contest encourages military children to communicate their perspective through art and writing. The ASYMCA is proud to share this opportunity with the public in acknowledgement of our military children’s sacrifices and resiliency.

Art & Essay Contest Information:

To view the all the 2021 Art & Essay Contest submissions click here.

About Armed Services YMCA:

The Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) is the oldest military support organization in the United States, founded in 1861. The ASYMCA's mission enhances the lives of active duty junior enlisted military members and their families in spirit, mind and body through programs relevant to the unique challenges of military life. In 2020, the ASYMCA engaged nearly 150,000 individuals and delivered more than 500,000 points of service through its 12 Branches and 24 Affiliate Partners, serving 87 military installations across the U.S. To learn more about how the ASYMCA is "Strengthening Our Military Family(R)" visit