Students read prize-winning essays written after interviewing veterans

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - As part of Veterans Day events at the Cole Land Transportation Museum, the winners of the veteran/student interview program were awarded.

6 winning students were joined by the vets they interviewed and read their essays aloud.

The teens were asked to describe what freedom means to them after hearing stories from those who have served.

First prize in the high school category went to Taylor Philbrick of Highview Christian Academy. Here is a small excerpt of her essay.

“You have shown a great love for freedom and I must retell your story so that freedom is kept alive. Yes, Mr. Charles McClead there is a price for freedom and I promise not to forget it.”

Major McClead says the interview program with students is wonderful.

“I had PTSD very bad when I came first came back from Southeast Asia. The opportunity then to talk to the kids here has been awesome. It's taken my PTSD away.”

Major McClead was also officially awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross Award in a special ceremony, fifty years after earning it in Vietnam. You can find a link to that story in the sidebar.