Last week, the three winners of the 51st annual America & Me Essay contest, sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance were recognized.
Brandon Middle School students Lyndsay Claxton, Lainey Lasky and Natalie Novoty were awarded for their achievement. As the school’s first place winner, Sans’ name will be engraved on a plaque displayed in the school office. The topic for the 2019-20 contest was “My Personal Michigan Hero.”
Claxton’s first place essay now advances to the state level competition from which the top 10 essays in Michigan will be selected. The top 10 statewide winners, will be announced in April, with a $1,000 cash award.
My Personal Michigan Hero
By Lyndsay Claxton
My personal Michigan hero is my great grandpa John Conway Malloy. My great grandpa is my hero because he found the food in situations and how to learn with information he had even during the hardest times.
When my grandpa was a kid his family did not have much money due to growing up during the Great Depression they lived in whatever they could even living in a tent for a few years of their life! He did not get much of an education in his life and he only went to school up until 8th grade because he had to work to make money for his family. He worked in a grocery store polishing apples, sweeping floors, filling sugar sacks, and a clerk, he was here as a clerk where he started learning and liking more math since he wasn’t going to school this is where he learned how to add around 20 numbers in a matter of seconds. He worked from 8th grade until he was drafted for World War Two at age 18.
In the war my great grandpa was in the Navy, he was a Shore Lander. He drove the boats onto shore to drop off soldiers to fight in the battles. His job was very scary, but there was no time to be nervous because you have to be on and off the shore so fast to stay alive. While serving in the pacific he participated in 2 of the biggest battles of the war; Iwo Jima and Okinawa, as he said in his book “It was at these times when I spoke to God, promising him that I got through this I would go to church every Sunday!”. Finally on August 14th, 1945 the Japanese surrendered and this nightmare in the Pacific was over, all he was required to do was clean up as his ship had been instructed too. By picking up 50 members on the US weather team in Siberia. At the end of the war his ship had traveled over 59,000 miles and was decommissioned on May 31st, 1946.
Overall, I really see my great grandpa as a hero and he earned that respect from me with everything he did, from leaving school at 13 to work and support his family, to fighting in the war at only 18 years old. John Conway Malloy is a true hero and I am proud to call him my great grandpa and my Michigan hero.