VFW Post 4411 presents awards to program winners

Published 4:46 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Sgt. USMC Jayton D. Patterson Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4411 held an awards ceremony on March 23 to honor Post winners of the VFW’s scholarship, education and community service programs.

This ceremony, held at the Post’s building in Franklin, highlighted local students, an eagle scout, a teacher and a law enforcement officer.

The total amount of award money presented was $1,550.

Brooks H. White, a Southampton Academy teacher at the 6-8 grade level, received both the National Citizenship Education Teacher Post Recognition Award and the Post’s Teacher of the Year Award. They were presented to her by VFW Post 4411 Commander Phillip J. Haley.

For the citizenship education honor, VFW Post 4411 Comrade Quartermaster Susan Moore noted that the certificate was “in recognition for promoting citizenship education in her classroom and school.”

Haley said White was also selected by the Post to go to District 2, and she was selected as the VFW Department of Virginia District 2 Teacher of the Year. She was recognized for this honor at a ceremony on Feb. 10.

J.P. King Jr. Middle School sixth grade student Bryanna R. Artis earned the Patriot’s Pen Award, which was a joint award from the Post and the VFW Post 4411 Auxiliary.

Moore said, “Bryanna’s certificate reads, ‘In appreciation and recognition of valuable cooperation and assistance rendered on behalf of our nation’s youth.’”

Haley noted that along with the certificate, the VFW Auxiliary gave her $150, and the VFW gave her $200.

The Post’s Scout of the Year was Eagle Scout Christopher D. Cornwell Jr., of Boy Scout Troop 17.

To those present at the awards ceremony, Moore said, “I don’t know if you noticed when you came into the building — there was a box sitting by the entrance door. That’s called a Flag Retirement Box. Thanks to Eagle Scout Cornwell for providing that to us. So basically, you don’t have to wait for us to be open. If you have a tattered flag, just drop it in the box, and we’ll retire it at our next ceremony.”

Moore then said, “Christopher’s citation reads, ‘For demonstrating the qualities of leadership, honor, devotion to duty and patriotism resulting in his selection as the Scout of the Year for Sgt. USMC Jayton D. Patterson VFW Post 4411. Your exemplary character is in keeping with the high standards of the scouts of America and has set an example for other young Americans.’”

Haley noted that along with the certificate, Cornwell received a check for $500.

“A little background on the scouting award,” Haley said, “the VFW actually helped the scouts start in the early 1900s with Post No. 1, so we’ve been with the scouts and scouting forever.”

King’s Fork High School senior Kayden N. Maskelony received the Post’s Voice of Democracy Award, which was also a joint award from the Auxiliary and the VFW.

Moore said, “And her certificate reads, ‘In sincere appreciation and recognition of valuable cooperation and assistance rendered on behalf of the Voice of Democracy Audio Essay Competition.’”

Haley stated that for the audio essay for Voice of Democracy, “they not only have to write their essay, they have to speak, they have to talk for three minutes. Getting a teenager not to speak for three minutes if you don’t want them to, good luck. To get them to speak into a microphone for three minutes while they’re reading their essay, she did a great job.”

He said that along with the certificate, she received $150 from the Auxiliary and $350 from the VFW.

Virginia State Trooper Michael D. Harville received the Post’s Public Servant Award.

Moore read what Harville’s certificate of appreciation said, noting that it was “in grateful recognition of unyielding adherence to the highest ideals of law enforcement and maintaining and preserving and protecting the lawful rights of all citizens.”

At the end of the awards ceremony, Haley said, “I’d like to thank everybody for supporting these programs. They’re very, very important to the community and to the VFW. If you have any questions on how you can nominate somebody for any of these programs, you can contact one of us here at the Post or go to the VFW website. They have all the applications and all the rules.”

VFW Post 4411 can be reached at 757-569-8169 or vfw4411@gmail.com, and the VFW website is www.VFW.org/.

A prepared meal followed the awards ceremony.