Few people outside of the military understand the experience of military life. The challenges that accompany the military lifestyle can include being away from loved ones, worrying for the safety of loved ones, and moving frequently, often from one side of the country to the other – if not sometimes across the world. Facing these challenges as an adult is difficult, so imagine living with them as a child.
Since 1996, the Armed Services YMCA has provided the children of our military service members a way to creatively salute their military families by submitting artwork or penning an essay to illustrate what being a part of a military family means to them. Using these forms of self-expression, military children can create artwork representing their military family and write about their military heroes.
“Our annual art and essay contest allows children to express their love, appreciation, and admiration for their military heroes,” said Mike Landers, CAPT, US Navy (Ret.), and President and CEO of the ASYMCA. “Their essays and artwork also serve to remind us of the sacrifices our men and women in uniform, and their families, make each day for our country.”
|The 2014 winning essay submissions were written by:||The 2014 winning art submissions were created by:|
|Juliana Barnwell, West Carthage, NY||Annabelle Workman, Carthage, NY|
|Angelina Benitez, Austin, TX||Mekila Santiago, Oceanside, CA|
|Emily Keegan, Oceanside, CA||Alisa Haase, Honolulu, HI|
|Joey Ingwersen, Ransomville, NY||Natalie McCarthy, Montgomery, AL|
|Caitlin Maronde, Fallon , NY||Aunika Sharrock, Clay, NY|
|Kristina Franke, Arlington, VA|
Winners from each category earned national recognition and will have their submission featured on the ASYMCA website, social media and marketing materials. Each winner was also awarded with an Apple iPod touch or iPad, depending on their age.
“Judging the submissions is always difficult for our panel. Reading or seeing how our country’s military children so eloquently display their affection for their military family is very impactful,” said Giselle Schneider, ASYMCA Art & Essay Contest program director. “I wish that we could award each child for the beautiful way that they illustrate their sacrifice with such innocence. They truly are American Heroes in their own rights.”
The 2015 ASYMCA Art & Essay Contest will launch in November, during Military Family Appreciation Month, with announcements and invitations for submissions. The contest is open to all eligible children of U.S. active duty or retired service members, including National Guard, Reserve and Coast Guard. For more information go to http://bit.ly/1njp66V, or contact Giselle Schneider at firstname.lastname@example.org.