TALISA DEAN won the Post, District and State levels of the V.F.W.’s Patriot’s Pen essay contest. Her essay is now being judged at the national level. Pictured, l-r, Harold Roberts (Department of Georgia V.F.W. Honor Guard and member of the Cairo V.F.W. Post 8433), Dan Dean, Talisa Dean, Ben Dean, Michelle Dean, Charles Jackson (National Aide-de-Camp and Commander of Cairo V.F.W. Post 8433), and Donald Fowler (District V.F.W. Commander).
A young Grady County girl is representing the state of Georgia at the national level in a youth essay contest for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Talisa Dean, 12, has won the V.F.W. Patriot’s Pen competition on the local post, district and state levels with her essay, which was written on the contest’s 2019-2020 theme, “What Makes America Great.”
She read the essay at the state level, and according to National Aide-de-Camp and Post Commander Charles Jackson of Cairo, wowed the crowd. “She’s a great speaker,” Jackson said. “they gave her a standing ovation.”
Dean is homeschooled and in the sixth grade. She is competing in the middle school division, and has already won $900 for her accomplishments.
Dean, who works as a docent at Popes Museum in north Grady County, writes in her essay about the awe she feels when showing visitors a memorial wall at the museum that includes the names of those Grady County men killed in war. Often, she states, the visitors are relatives of those men. She says their deaths gave every American opportunity, and she hopes to show gratitude.
She writes, “In conclusion, America is great because of opportunity and gratitude. Our veterans provided the opportunity; it is my generation’s job to show gratitude. When we do so, these two work together to create a better nation, a great nation. Memorials such as the veterans’ wall in our town show that men and women have done their part by serving and giving their lives for us. It impacts my generation and the next generation to be thankful.”
Dean is the daughter of Michelle and Dan Dean of Grady County. When not working at Popes Museum or doing school work, she dances with The F.I.R.M., participates in the 4-H D.P.A., and attends Family Worship Center.