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EDISON STATE COLLEGE ESSAY SCHOLARSHIP

 
LEXINGTON VETERANS ASSOCIATION OFFERS AN ANNUAL ESSAY SCHOLARSHIP TO THE EDISON STATE COLLEGE STUDENT WHO IS JUDGED TO HAVE WRITTEN THE BEST ESSAY ON THE TOPIC "FREEDOM IS NOT FREE ".  THE STUDENTS COME FROM PROFESSOR WILLIAM BENJAMIN POLK'S POLITICAL SCIENCE CLASS.  INCIDENTALLY, POLK IS FORMER VICE COMMANDER OF THE LEXINGTON VETERANS ASSOCIATION & A KOREAN WAR US MARINE CORP VETERAN.
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2011 MEMORIAL DAY WINNER IS Marine Lance Corporal SHANE REINHARDT... his essay is as follows:

        My name is LCpl Shane Reinhardt.  I was invited here today to speak about our freedoms and the price we pay for it.  Before I begin; I will tell you all my personal story about joining the service, and why I did it.  Two years ago I was graduating from Cape Coral High School; my father had just been diagnosed with cancer, and my family was going through a tough moment where none of us really knew whether my father would pull through his fight at almost seventy years old.  I decided I wanted the financial backing behind me to take care of my mother in case that unbreakable wall that I called father for so long gave way.  I remembered that fifty years ago my father looked for a way to take care of his mother when his own father passed away; he turned to the United States Army, and he proudly served there for many years until his retirement.  I however, turned to the United States Marine Corps; I stepped on the yellow footprints on Parris Island two years ago, and my intent of joining the military stayed, but something greater called to me.  The freedoms that we fought for so long had become my primary objective after graduating basic training.

      This is the most difficult of these essays to write, for the war in Afghanistan and Iraq is ongoing. We will be there for years to come. That is what the situation calls for, and we have answered the call as we have previously answered that call under nearly ever circumstance possible. Either overtly or covertly, our armed forces have gone before us and served with distinction in every theatre where we were called upon to serve. This has taken our young men and now women to every corner of the globe, to fight for the cause of liberty.

      One of my favorite sayings came from President Ronald Reagan, he described the United States as a “Shining City on a Hill.”  For over 200 years the United States of America has been to the world a beacon of hope, a place where people could come and be what God made them to be. A free people, a self directing people. It was a first in all of history that this type of society was to come into being, and then to flower. It is a vision that many nations or groups of people within nations would like to emulate, for with freedom brings that hope that springs eternal in every breast, that yearning to choose ones destiny.

     With that freedom comes responsibility. The responsibility to vote, to obey the laws of the land, and to serve to protect the nation and the freedoms that we so enjoy. Sometimes we disagree with our government about how these things are decided and how they come about. That is the privilege that the armed forces of our country fight for the most vigorously, the right to dissent.

      I come from a family that contains many generations of proud military service. I have stood at Arlington and have seen the tombstones of my uncles, who proudly served in Vietnam, Desert Storm, and Desert Shield.  My own father served during the Bay of Pigs conflict.  I’ve lost many friends; brothers and sisters in arms due to battles in the Middle East, but one thing is for sure; our armed forces have served, and have given their numbers to more nations than any other military in history.  Not for the cause of conquest, but for the cause of liberty.  We fight so that others might have the right to live and be free as we are. Sometimes that has meant combat, other times it has meant to bury our boots in a foreign land, the line in the sand as it were. In every case, it has been the right thing to do. Even in such cases as Vietnam, where the methods were bad, but not the motives, nor the young men that did their duty by serving. The individual solder was valiant even if the management was corrupt.

      I want the world to know that I have yet to meet a service man or woman that regretted their decision to serve even in war time. Even in the controversy surrounding the deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, they still enlist, they still reenlist and I salute them for their courage in the face of adversity at home and abroad for they show us the true meaning of the word “Patriot.”

      Ask any service member; past or present, why they fought and risked their own life; I give you my personal guarantee that their continued sacrifice was to insure the future of our great nation so that it remains the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

      I would like to thank Commander Gdula, Professor Polk, and the rest of the Lexington Community for having me here today.  Thank you and God Bless!

 

 Remember "Freedom Is Not Free"                                          

 

 

 

 

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EDISON STATE

COLLEGE 

"FREEDOM IS NOT FREE"

SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY

WINNERS

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2003 Winner -                      Kellie Dillon  2004 Winner -                                    Cares Adajar 2005 Winner -                                           Amanda Reagan

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 2006 Winner -                    Zuleidy D. Fernandez

2007 Winner -             Renee Papa 2008 Winner -                Monica Wilson 2009 Winner -              Chanae Jamison 2010 Winner - Bea Wagoner
   

Music: "I'm Proud To Be An American"