NASELLE — Back on Dec. 14, members of the Long Beach VFW Post 3721 were on hand in the Naselle-Grays River Valley School Commons to announce the winners of the VFW essay competitions and provide them with checks.

The VFW sponsors two essay contests. The first is at the high school level and is called, “Voice of Democracy.” This year the theme was, “My Vision for America.” The second is at the middle school level and is called “Patriots Pen.” This year the theme was, “What Freedom Means to Me.”

Participants at the high school level are required to submit a recorded speech. Middle school participants were required to submit a 300-500 word essay.

At the high school level, Taylor Gudmundsen won first place and was awarded a check for $100. Ethan Lindstrom was announced as the winner of the middle school competition and also received a check for $100.

The winning essays of Gudmundsen and Lindstrom were forwarded by the VFW post to the District level to be judged against other winning entries at the post level.

“Gudmendsen and Lindstrom were competing with entries from ten other posts,” said VFW member Mark Smith. “These included entries from Longview, Toutle, and Cathlamet as well as seven other posts. So, it was very competitive.”

The district results were just announced and Lindstrom was awarded first place in the middle school category and Gudmundsen was awarded second place in the high school category. Lindstrom was awarded $100 and Gudmundsen received $75 bringing their award totals to $200 and $150 respectively.

As a result of his first place finish at the District level, Lindstrom’s entry has now been forwarded for competition at the state level.

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