Brandywine student wins national American Legion essay contest

Zack Moyer
Zack Moyer

Brandywine Heights 10-year-old Zackary Moyer, when only in the fourth grade, became a national winner of the American Legion essay contest.

Lillian Shaowalter, President of Berks County Council of the American Legion, stated that the entire group was “very excited about it.”

“It makes our unit look good,” said Shoawalter. “Of all the units in Berks County we were the only ones that had essays to enter.”

In grades ranging from 3rd to 12th the unit had more than 100 essays to enter the contest. This year’s topic was “How can I encourage my friends to show pride in being an American.”


Moyer, 10 years old and now in the 5th grade at Brandywine Heights Intermediate School, is definitely proud to be an American. In his essay, which he also titled, “How can I encourage my friends to show pride in being an American,” he spoke about ways in which he could share his pride. Some of those ways included sending a box of necessities overseas to the troops (something Moyer and his family did), helping out at a Veterans Day breakfast at his church (something he plans to do this year) and keeping the community clean.

Moyer said the essay contest means a lot to him because “some of my family members were in the army (two cousins in the Marines) and my Pappy won a citizenship award similar to this.”

Moyer was also excited about winning.

“It made me feel real good because I usually don’t win anything and knowing I won something filled with patriotism holds a special place in my heart.”

Moyer won local, county, state, and the national prize of the American Legion essay contest. His prize money totaled $200. He originally was going to buy a computer or some video games but his decision changed when he heard the Brandywine Community Library might close. He decided to donate the money to the troubled library.

“I can’t live without a library,” said Moyer

Though only 10,he has plans for the future.

“I want to be a scientist that makes concoctions and invents things, a hacker for the FBI, a Nascar driver, and a video game creator,” said Moyer.

He also keeps busy with reading, playing Mindcraft and other video games, playing piano and soccer, and having fun with his friends.

Shaowalter hopes that this win “might encourage more kids to take part in it.”

The next contest will begin on the local level after the holidays.