Kaylee Barrett, won not only the District VFW’s Patriot Pen essay contest, but also the state contest.

Kaylee Barrett
VFW Patriot Pen Essay District and State Winner

The America I Believe In

America the Beautiful – land of majestic mountains, plains of fruit and grain, from sea to shining seas. These are the visions I think of when I think of our great country. But America, as rich as it is in natural resources, is much more. The greatest resources of our country are our American people – those who shaped our past, who are building our present, and who will design our future. These great Americans are the America I believe in.

It all started with our Founding Fathers. More than 200 years ago, they planted the seeds of freedom and responsibility for our country. With strength, determination, and courage they fought to create a government based on the ideas of “Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness”. There have been struggles, including a Civil War, differences over individual rights, and World Wars. Today Americans face tough issues such as terrorism, homelessness, and race divisions. But through it all, Americans always come together to show the world what it is like to be a free country.

Great Americans respect and protect human lives. Through our armed forces, courageous Americans defend our country from enemies and stand up for freedom around the world. At home, patriotic Americans enforce the laws made to keep our people safe and secure. Educated Americans believe that all citizens should be knowledgeable and given the opportunity to succeed. Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States once said, “We can’t help everyone, but we can help someone.” Caring Americans feel that responsibility to volunteer and reach out to others in this country and all over the world in time of crisis. Resourceful Americans have put a man on the moon, developed vaccines that save lives, and created technology that brings the world together.

Sam Kendricks, a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Army participated in the Rio Olympics. In the middle of his qualifying pole vault, he stopped running and turned to salute the U.S. Flag when he heard “The Star Spangled Banner” begin played in the stadium. His action was an example of his loyalty and love for the country he represented. Generations of Americans have done the same by sacrificing their time, talents, and even their lives so that future generations may continue to prosper and have hope in the American dream. This is the American I believe in.