VFW recognizes essay contest winners Students asked why they appreciate veterans Journal-Advocate staff writer Posted: Not pictured are Tye Barton, second place and Brad Kent, fourth place. He commended the students who wrote essays for participating in the contest, their teachers for encouraging it and their schools and families. There were six students recognized, four were present to read their essays and those present also read the essays of the two students not in attendance.
The last time I saw him four years ago, he was watering his vegetables with only a bucket in his determination to resume farming.
It was then that I saw first-hand how the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan had completely and mercilessly obliterated his local farming community. Ootomo welcomed us back with open arms. It was so great to see him again! At the train station, huge paper decorations for the Sendai Tanabata festival swayed colorfully.
Thanks to the mentorship and coordination from Mr. Glenn Tanaka, we were also joined by our wonderful translator, Ms. We all piled into his van, and as we drove through town, I solemnly noticed a highway overpass with a line that marked where the water level had reached during the tsunami.
There was also a new super tall structure designated as an emergency shelter in case of a future tsunami.
Newer temporary housing caught my eye, looking more like apartments than the hurriedly built rectangular portables I saw back in I learned that depression and domestic violence continue to be a cruel reality for residents. I was told the temporary housing units were all full, and aboutpeople are still in temporary housing in Japan.
Many of us saw the horror of the earthquake and tsunami on the news. We watched the waves crush everything in its path. We watched homes and cars destroyed. What we did not see was the recovery from the disaster and how the Japanese people persevered through so much tragedy with "gaman.
Today, I would visit farmers that have received aid from the Walk the Farm fundraiser. We drove to a nearby farm, and after proudly showing me her restored small but flourishing plot of land, Farmer Kayoko firmly grasped my hands with her own worn and weathered hands.
With her stooped shoulders, slight frame and grandmotherly glasses, I was surprised by the strength of her grip. I was then taken aback when she bowed so low and deeply towards me, a mere teenager.
With raw emotion, she told me to tell everyone thank you for helping her family rebuild her swept-away home and farm. She said she was so grateful for everyone's support and all the blessings that kizuna has brought. Before this trip, the only association I had with the word "kizuna" was with gokizuna.
I didn't know what the word meant. Kizuna means bonds and connections. One month after the devastation inPrime Minister Naoto Kan spoke of kizuna as the "bonds of friendship" as he described how over nations and 40 international organizations swiftly came to Japan's aid.
Throughout the day, the farmers kept mentioning kizuna and stressed with appreciation the importance of these local and international relationships in their recovery process.
Every cloud has a silver lining. For the farmers, that silver lining has been kizuna. Ootomo's dream had been to move out of temporary housing into a permanent home.
I was so happy to see a newly built house in the field we had visited four years before! He still grows fruits and vegetables, but he was sad to say that he had retired from farming.
He is older, and it is too difficult for him to farm. Rather, he and his wife help the farming community by hosting events in their home. They arrange activities such as informative talks, sewing classes, exercise sessions, day-trips and picnics to lessen post-traumatic stress and anxiety for survivors.
They also organize and deliver donated food to temporary housing residents. Ootomo feel that it is their mission to lift the spirits and to create and deepen kizuna within their community.
He and his wife give their heartfelt thanks to Walk the Farm for providing financial and emotional support to the farming community in Idohama.
Farmer Sachio and Farmer Keiko, husband and wife, shared with us their horrific ordeal on that March 11th. Just as they began to describe it, Farmer Keiko began to cry, overcome with the memories from that day.
When she began to speak, her words choked me up as they described their terrifying chain of events and showed us their pictures.
Farmer Sachio was away from the farm when the tsunami surged through their community.The VFW Patriotic Audio Essay Competition is an original minute essay on a CD or in writing a broadcast script for this year’s theme, Why I’m Optimistic About our Nation’s Future.
Each year, more than 50, high school students compete for more than $ million in scholarships and incentives. Jan 31, · VFW Essay Contest winner Anne Rogers (second East Providence youngster Rogers wins VFW Essay contest nbsp; EAST PROVIDENCE Anne Rogers of Rumford, a sixth grade student at St.
Margaret School, is the State of Rhode Island winner of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Patriot s Pen Essay Contest.
Patriot's Pen Essay Contest. Patriot's pen gives 6th, 7th and 8th grade students the opportunity to express their opinion on a patriotic theme and improve their writing skills, while they compete for worthwhile awards and prizes.
The ACT test is a curriculum-based education and career planning tool for high school students that assesses the mastery of college readiness standards.
High School Illustrated December 16, Education, Featured 1, Views. The VFW Patriotic Audio Essay Competition is an original minute essay on a CD or in writing a broadcast script for this year’s theme, Why I’m Optimistic About our Nation’s Future.
Each year, more than 50, high school students compete for more than $ Salem Community College names Student-Athletes for March - Marissa Kohrherr ; Salem High School graduate named to dean's list - Sarah Ridgway; W & J Women's Track & Field Enters National Rankings - .