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Kittson Central students receive awards for Americanism entries

As presented by Beth Stark
The Kittson County VFW and Auxiliary 3828 have sponsored an elementary contest to promote patriotism and pride in America and for military veterans for over two decades now; and again this year, we continue to be amazed by the talent and effort that the students and their teachers put forth. Thank You!
This year the kindergarten through second graders colored a patriotic eagle picture and the third and fourth graders colored a ThankYou Heart to Veterans. Cash prizes are awarded for first, second and third place in each section of these grades. The first place winners in each grade have been submitted to Minnesota Auxiliary District 9 judging.
We have some very artistic young people, who are reaping the benefits of the new emphasis in art instruction here at KCC, so Kudos to Ms. Lindegard as well. I’d also like to have our two high school media students that created the program insert, stand and be recognized: Addison Lindegard and Avery Wiese. Thank you for your technology talents.
The fifth and sixth graders had quite a different task to complete this year. They were asked to find and interview a veteran of any age or branch of service. The students recorded basic information such as when and where, and years of service, their military branch and rank, if they enlisted or were drafted, and what duties they performed. On a more personal level, the students also asked if the veteran had any observations to share and what freedom meant to them. Those reflective responses were what made these interviews so interesting and thoughtful.
Winners receive prize money of $3, third; $4, second; $5, first.
From Mrs. Casper’s Kindergarten Class: 3rd Place, Reese Lofstrom; 2nd Place, Saylor Younggren; 1st Place, Addilynn Schmiedeberg.
From Mrs. Christenson’s Kindergarten Class: 3rd Place, Addison Plaine; 2nd Place, Gemma Johnson; 1st Place* to District 9: Johan Eksteen.
From Miss Kalli Peterson’s First Grade: 3rd Place, Eleanor Plaine; 2nd Place, Gianna Gubbels; 1st Place*, Julie Johnson
From Mrs. Klein’s Second Grade: 3rd Place, Violet Frost; 2nd Place, Eliana Rickenberg; 1st Place*, Dekker Younggren.
From Mrs. Lipinski’s Third Grade: 3rd Place, Myla Lindegard; 2nd Place, Dash Olsonawski; 1st Place*, Evelyn Friedt.
From Mrs. Cadieux’s Fourth Grade: 3rd Place, Leighton Peterson; 2nd Place, Hadley Spindler; 1st Place*, Aurora Jensen.
5th and 6th Grade Veteran Interviews
From Miss Bailey Peterson’s Language Arts Classes, these entries will receive cash awards of $3, third; $5, second; $7, first.
5th Grade – 3rd Place, Antony Gravseth, an E8 Master Sergeant in the Army National Guard, was interviewed by: Doug Diamond.
5th Grade – 2nd Place: Dillin Laffety, set to be a Master Sergeant, now in the U.S. Army Reserve, was interviewed by: Ely Wiese.
5th Grade – 1st Place*: David Mortenson, who started in the ROTC and was promoted to First Lieutenant during his Vietnam deployment, was awarded the Bronze Star, and feels lucky to be alive after serving in the era of Agent Orange chemical exposure. He was interviewed by his great-great niece, Lia Mortenson.
6th Grade – 3rd Place: Jodi Symington, enlisted because of the 9-11 attacks. She was a Specialist combat medic in the Army for 8 years. She was interviewed by Sydney Bakken.
6th Grade – 2nd Place: Robert Hugen served in the Army after the fall of Saigon as a Specialist 4th Class Military Police Officer. He enjoyed helping the South Vietnamese refugees relocate and find sponsors in Pennsylvania. He was interviewed by Knox Peterson.
6th Grade – 1st Place*: Robert Mortenson, who is the nephew of David Mortenson, is a 22-year career Army veteran who served in several states in the U.S., as well as in Germany, as a Signal and Communication Officer. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He was interviewed by his great-niece Vada Younggren.
The Veterans who were interviewed overwhelmingly expressed their feelings of honor and privilege in serving our country. We honor and thank them today and every day for their service on our behalf.

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