“What My Vote Will Mean To Me” is the theme for the Fleet Reserve Association’s (FRA) annual Americanism essay contest.

According to Ron Williams, local Fleet Reserve branch president, “The contest is open to all students in grades 7 through 12."

A student may submit only one essay, no longer than three hundred fifty words, and legibly written or typed on one side of the paper.
Entrants are to include their name, address, school grade, sponsoring FRA branch, and their own or a parent’s social security number on a separate sheet.

All entries must be postmarked no later than March 31, 2013 and sent to Ed Pasek, Chairman, Americanism Committee, Bob “He Coon” Sikes Branch 210, 6409 Fleet Avenue in Milton, 32570.

“The essay contest’s grand national prize winner chosen from nation wide entries, and a parent or guardian will travel at Association expense to Washington, D.C to visit the White House, Supreme Court and Capitol Hill including a meeting and/or photo opportunity with his/her U.S. Representative or Senator(s), depending upon availability," Williams said. "There is also a cash prizes of $2,500, $1,500, and $1,000 to each first, second, and third place winners in grades seven through twelve.”

Students entering the contest must be sponsored by the local FRA branch but do not have to be related to an FRA member.

Pasek, who chairs the Milton branch’s Americanism committee, offered to provide additional information if they will call 665-5805.

The federally chartered Fleet Reserve Association is a non-profit organization representing nearly 150,000 active duty, reserve and retired members of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard in more than 300 branches located throughout the United States and at overseas military bases.

FRA works to safeguard and/or enhance pay and benefits of the Sea Service members it represents. For mover information on FRA visit the Association’s Web site at www.fra.org. For more information on Branch 210, visit their Web site at www.frabranch210.com.