By Susan A. Merkner, Installation Management CommandSeptember 6, 2019
Seven military children are winners in the 2019 Young Lives, BIG Stories contest sponsored by the U.S. Army Installation Management Command's G9 Child and Youth Services. The art and essay contest is part of the 2019 Month of the Military Child observance.
Military children and youth in grades preschool through 12th were eligible to enter the contest. Participants submitted an essay or artwork to tell their story of what it means to be a military child or youth. Prizes are given for the winners of each age category and one overall winner.
Melanie McDaniel, USAG Hawaii, is the overall winner for her essay describing the advantages and disadvantages of being a military child.
"I have already done and seen so many things and experienced so many different cultures in 16 years than most people see and do in a lifetime," Melanie wrote. "From moving around so much I think that military children like me have a special appreciation and love for cultural diversity, and we have a global knowledge that you will not find often in civilian children."
Art winners were:
3- to 4-year-olds: Therese Mesina, USAG Bavaria, Germany
5-year-olds to first grade: Autumn Lee, Army National Guard (HHC 115th E5B, Madison, Alabama)
Second to third grade: Jemma Empeno, Army Reserves (419th CSSB, Yorba Linda, California)
Essay winners were:
Fourth to fifth grade: Alyssa Lemire, Fort Huachuca, Arizona
Sixth to eighth grade: Maliza Lincoln, Fort Hamilton, New York
Ninth to 12th grade: Lindsay Birkhead- Morton, ARNG (JFHQ, Baltimore, Maryland)
Entries were scored based on content, form, grammar, presentation of the main idea and creativity.