VFW honors essay winners, volunteers
The De Soto Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6654 and its Ladies Auxiliary recognized Sunday a number of De Soto residents, professionals and students for achievements.
Post Commander Drew Culbertson and Chairpersons Nikki Leisten and Doug Bedford made the presentations to each of the recipients.
The ceremony began with the Pledge of Allegiance and brief summary, by Culbertson, of the VFW's previous year's accomplishments and the importance of community service and volunteerism.
Award recipients included the Patriot's Pen Essay winners and runners-up, Voice of Democracy Essay winner, Eagle Scout of the Year, EMT of the Year, Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, Firefighter of the Year, and Teacher of the Year.
VFW Post 6654 is a part of District 2, which includes 25 posts. There are 170 posts in the state and nine Districts in the state of Kansas.
Jamey Seaba, Teacher of the Year Post, 2nd District 1st place, and Department of Kansas (State) for grades 6-8 winner. Jamey is a resident of De Soto and a 7th grade teacher at Lexington Trails Middle School.
Brian Hill, Law Enforcement Officer of the Year - Post and 2nd District 1st place winner. Brian is with the Johnson County Sheriff's Department.
Brandon Welch, Firefighter of the Year Post and 2nd District 2nd place winner. Brandon is a volunteer firefighter in De Soto.
Stephen Chick Jr., Emergency Medical Technician of the Year - Post and 2nd District first place winner. Stephen works for the De Soto Fire Department.
David Bedford Jr., Eagle Scout of the Year - Post winner there is no district contest. Department judging has not yet occurred. David is a sophomore at De Soto High School.
Siarra Culbertson, Voice of Democracy Essay contest winner for Post 6654. Siarra is a freshman at De Soto High School.
Patriot's Pen Essay contest: LTMS seventh-grade winners Courtney Goodin, Jordan Whitaker, and Emily Churchwell. LTMS eight-grade winners Parker Riley, Philip Kaul, and Renee Reichard.
Culbertson also presented awards to Archie and Sally Bedford, Doug Bedford, Nikki Leisten, Sarah Brown, and Renee Graham for their involvement in these community programs.