Christensen earns Youth Tour honors
Burke-Divide Electric Cooperative has selected Annika Christensen as the winner of the Cooperative’s Youth Tour essay contest and trip to Washington, D.C. Annika will represent Burke-Divide Electric Cooperative on the all-expense-paid Youth Tour held in Washington, D.C., June 9-15.
Annika is a sophomore at Kenmare High School and is the daughter of Lars and Emily Christensen of Kenmare.
Annika participates in volleyball, track, FBLA, FFA, Close-up, student council, Envirothon, speech, and her community’s youth group. Outside of school, Annika helps out on her family’s farm and enjoys driving around, listening to good music, snowboarding, hanging out with friends, sleeping, and watching Netflix.
Burke-Divide Electric Cooperative is proud to have Annika representing the Cooperative on this year’s Youth Tour!
To earn this trip to Washington, D.C., Annika wrote an essay on the following topic:
There are approximately 20 million military veterans in the United States today. How shall fellow U.S. citizens honor and look after these veterans, who have served and sacrificed on our behalf? Describe any special connection you may have to a veteran or active-duty member of the military.
Here is Annika’s essay:
The United States is one of the greatest nations in the world. How did it become such a strong country? Well of course our military is one of the best in the world. With dedicated members sacrificing their lives and time to protecting our nation. In every way our citizens should look up to these bright members of society as true heroes, as they give up their time so we can have our freedom. Veterans should not be looked over when considering the huge difference they’ve already made. The country as a whole should take the upmost precautions when taking care of these unforgotten fighters.
To show we actually do care about these veterans, we should start with support. Supporting these people could be anything from having a simple visit with them to feeding those that have become homeless. After all they did make a much bigger dedication to protecting you then you could ever make towards them. It's not like you'd have to give up your entire free time just to go and make their day. For example, just saying a simple “how’s it going” could make their day.
Sharing their stories is another way we can keep veterans from being forgotten. The tales of a veteran can help many people, military or not, be inspired to do bigger and better things. An example of this is when my Grandpa would come home at around one o'clock every night during the holidays, because he had just got off at the airbase. So, my grandma, mom, and uncle would wait to spend Christmas with him even though they may have been tired. They understood the measures he had to take and would do it again in a heartbeat. That is just a small clip of what members and their families have given up, so others wouldn’t have to.
Training service dogs could be a big help for wounded veterans. These hurting vets need unconditional support as they can be less independent after they come back. As a matter of fact, training these lovable animals could also bring you joy. This would be one of the coolest ways to help out one of these heroes. As well as a way to help out these members families.
Overall helping out veterans is a great way to help your country. Doing anything for these people makes you more patriotic than ninety percent of the citizens I know. You don’t have to even do anything super time consuming, just anything would be enough. At least give a little compassion towards these past soldiers as they had given to you.
Annika and her grandfather, Hal Tarvestad, a U.S. Army veteran.