Last night I found out that I placed first locally in the Patriots Pen VFW writing contest. I received a plaque, prize money, and even a proclamation from the mayor of my town. But what left the largest impact on me were the people. When I read my paper, I was trying to speak to the hearts of those veterans listening. Whenever I come in contact with people who have truly sacrificed for our country, it leaves an impact on me. When my dad speaks of the flag, when veterans tear up when speaking of their home, and when families tell stories of their loved ones who lost their lives for the American Flag, I love my country all the more. I would love to encourage the elderly and really show them I care about their sacrifice more often. I love to hear the wisdom from their lives, the stories from their pasts, and their hope for the future.