Editor's Note: Each year, St. Peter Catholic School in Ontario holds writing contests in the fall and the spring. For this fall’s contest, the school chose the topic of Veterans Day and why it is important to honor veterans and celebrate this national holiday. The school has 70 students (K4 through 6th grade), and each class participated, with the K4 (4-year-olds) submitting coloring pages and the K5 (5-year-olds) submitting pictures. Following are the winners from this year's contest. This is the fourth year that the school has held the writing contest, which is put on by the parent club at the school.

K (5-year-olds) Winners:

1st Place - Kaizo Nakamura

Veterans, I love you guys. You are all strong!

2nd Place - Cristian Grijalva

God Bless our Veterans!

1st Grade:

1st Place - Beatrice Hart

We celebrate Veterans Day because of the boys and girls who fought in the war. They fight for our lives. They sacrificed their lives. That is why Veterans Day is so important.

2nd Place - Madi Parish

My uncle served in the U.S. Army. My uncle’s name is Gary. He fought in Iraq. I like him because he fought for my freedom.

2/3rd Grades:

1st place - Janes Jalon

Veterans fought for our country. They were in the military. November 11th is Veteran’s Day. Veterans are good people. For Veterans Day, I celebrate by praying. They fought in many wars. They flew airplanes. Some lived and some died. We love our veterans. They help our country. They fight to save our country. Thank you for saving our country. You are the best.

2nd place - Alondra Tinoco

A veteran is a person who fights for the world. Some people celebrate Veteran’s Day on November 11th by going to the veteran’s parade or they will celebrate by having a family dinner. Veterans love their country. They fight for our freedom. We love our veterans that help our country by fighting in wars. God send them so they can save our country. God bless them and thank you veterans.

4th Grade:

1st Place - Julianna Joyce

Veterans are people who fought, or are fighting in a war to protect America. My Grandpa was a veteran. My Grandpa fought as a Marine. A Marine is a member of the armed forces. There are four main members of the armed forces: Marines, Army, Navy and Air Force. My Grandpa, my Great Grandpa, and my Great-great Grandpa are all veterans. My Great Grandpa served in World War II and my Great-great Grandpa served in World War I. I know a lot more about veterans and they aren’t only in my family. One of my babysitters is married to a man named Alec. Alec is in the Navy, plus our friend Casey is in the Air Force. My teacher Miss Hernandez, her two brothers are veterans too.

The word veteran means a lot to me because they fought for the rest of us to have freedom. To honor our veterans, we have a parade each year, but I am not here this year. I am going to visit my Grandpa. I love my Grandpa. I am glad he is a veteran, and I respect him for his duty and being in the war. Everyone should thank a veteran for their sacrifice they have made and for families who have lost their loved ones. We would not have all of the wonderful freedoms we have in America if it wasn’t for them.

2nd Place - Carson Clapperton

Veterans Day is important to me because my Dad, Grandpa and Great Grandpa served this country in the military and I am very proud of them.

My Dad was in the Army as a heavy equipment mechanic and on burial duty in Fort Rucker, Alabama. My Grandpa was a paratrooper. While he was in basic training, he and others listened to a paratrooper talk and watched movies about them. So my Grandpa volunteered and went to paratrooper school. He had to jump out of planes in the middle of the night. My Great Grandpa was in the Air Corp division of the Army before there was an Air Force. He served in England in World War II. He was a bomber mechanic. He was over there for three whole years. He was a Master Sargent.

I’m so proud my family has served this country because they fought for my freedom and helped other countries be free too. I hope that all soldiers come back okay to their families.

5/6th Grade:

1st Place - Christopher Bolin

Veteran In My Life

All kids have someone they look up to. The person I look up to happens to be a veteran. He was a soldier in the first Iraq-American War.

My uncle, Bede, decided to become a Green Beret all because of a song. Right after he heard the song he decided to become one. The song is called, “Ballad of the Green Berets.” It was a number one hit in 1966. The words, “Put silver wings on my son’s chest, make him one of America’s best, he’ll be a man they’ll test someday, have him win the Green Beret,” inspired him to want to be in the military. This is when it all began.

He went to boot camp in North Carolina. Green Beret boot camp is one of the hardest Special Force camps along with the Navy Seals. They put their trainees to the test. You can’t do anything right according to the Staff Sergeants. They push your body to its physical limit, and that’s why they call it one of the hardest boot camps. Once you complete the training you get silver wings and a green beret. You wear it with honor and pride. That’s why only three out of a hundred soldiers win the right to wear the Silver Wings and Green Beret. From there they have many experiences.

My uncle shared various stories with me about Desert Storm. In the hill country of Iraq, he received orders to check out a bridge to see if his platoon could cross. He went with four Bradley Assault Vehicles with four men in each. When they arrived, he ordered a vehicle to advance and observe the damage of the bridge. On the way, the Bradley hit a mine destroying the engine and leaving one man injured. What my uncle didn’t know is that they were in the middle of multiple land mines. My uncle said, “Through the grace of God, I didn’t hit a mine because if I did, I wouldn’t be talking to you right now.” I’m glad my uncle was able to come out of Desert Storm alive because I enjoy listening to his stories.

Through my uncle’s military career, he received various medals. Some of those medals include the Legend of Merit, the Bronze Star, and the Defense Meritorious. He won’t say why he got the medals, he just says, “I did my duty.” He served in Iraq for six months, every day of Desert Storm until the peace treaty was signed. Desert Storm was a bloody and violent war. I thank my uncle for being there for my family and my country.

I’m glad my uncle is okay because he plays a big part in my life. He is a great husband, father, grandfather, uncle and veteran. I would be lucky to be half the person my uncle, Bede is.

2nd Place - Tessa Hart

Pappa, A Veteran for Life

Veterans helped us gain our freedom in different ways. Some fought, some worked as laborers, some taught, and some healed the injured. My Pappa worked.

He worked as a mechanic. That was his main job. The proper name of his position is an Aviation Machinist. He liked his work and said he learned a lot from it. He learned about planes, engines, super chargers, and more. Pappa told me that he had to sign papers saying he fixed the plane and he was responsible for how well it ran. Not only did he learn from work, but he also learned from the places he was deployed.

He went to many places around the world. Pappa went to warm places, cold places, exotic places, and harsh places, but all of them were new to the eighteen year old from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He went to places like Morocco, Iceland, Newfoundland, Cuba, Africa, Korea, and Guantanamo Bay. With every place that he went to he learned more about the culture and people. He told me stories about his experiences in those countries.

When he told me these stories, every one caught my attention. My favorite one is about a bolt in a super charger. Pappa had said, “Once when I was working, a man came up to me and told me that he had dropped a bolt in the super charger. I went over to the place and took out some of the engine parts to get to the super charger. When I took it out, I held it upside down, and out came the bolt!” Pappa told me that the man was brave because a mistake like that could kill someone if they were to fly that plane. It was also very embarrassing to have to tell someone about a silly mistake. Pappa kept doing things like this for four more years because he served until he was twenty-two. This story has told me that a person has to be brave, even to be a mechanic.

Now Pappa lives a happy life with his wife. Even though he is retired, he still works as hard as a veteran.

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