A capacity crowd was in attendance for the Veterans of Foreign Wars All-American Post 10904 Community Awards banquet, held February 14 in the Coffee County Veterans Building. Among those attending were Coffee County Mayor Gary Cordell, VFW State Commander Brian Walker and several other officers with VFW Department of Tennessee.
After an incredible meal prepared by VFW Post Chaplain Hans Hooker and his wife, Post Auxiliary Member Virginia, Lloyd Smith performed the National Anthem to open the ceremony.
Four new VFW Life Members were welcomed to the Post.
Veterans Military Support Appreciation Awards were presented to Beth Murphy of Hickerson Elementary School; Jamie Harden of Harden Signs; Betty Hamry and Amy Carter of United Daughters of the Confederacy, Calvin C. Brewer Chapter 2505; and Peyton Garner of Cowan Elementary School.
This is the second year in a row that all three Teachers of the Year selected at the Post level were also selected at the District level; one of them was selected as the 8th State Teacher of the Year from Post 10904 in just the last five years.
Kelli Cunningham of Cowan Elementary School was selected as the elementary school Teacher of the Year, and Trudy Nash of Temple Baptist School the high school Teacher of the Year, at both the Post and District levels. Will Pannell of Westwood Middle School was selected as the Middle School Teacher of the Year at the Post, District and State of Tennessee levels. He now advances to the National level. Emily Ezell of Cowan Elementary School was selected as VFW’s National Teacher of the Year in 2018.
In addition to the outstanding teachers in our area, several local students won the annual VFW essay competitions. Katherine Clark, an 8th Grade student at Temple Baptist School, topped 64 Patriot’s Pen essay competition submissions. She read her essay aloud to those in attendance, who were so inspired by her essay that she received a standing ovation.
Andrew Hetrick, a Senior at Coffee County Central High School, was awarded First Place in the Voice of Democracy essay competition among the 16 entries at the Post level; and First Place at the District level, where his submission was judged the best among the winners from ten VFW Posts. He read his essay aloud and also received a standing ovation. Recently awarded the rank of Eagle Scout, Hetrick also received the VFW Post 10904 Scout of the Year Award.
Lloyd Smith closed the event with “God Bless The USA” as attendees sang along.
For more information and to stay current on the latest local VFW news, visit our Facebook page and website at www.vfwpost10904.com
Top photo: Llyod Smith performs one of his songs to those in attendance.