VFW - Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States

07/13/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/13/2020 06:19

High School Senior Wins Scholarship in Italy

In a tumultuous time laden with a global pandemic, VFW Post 8862 in Vicenza, Italy, improvised in honoring its annual scholarship award program's namesake in May.

Complying with phase two of COVID-19 lockdown in Italy by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in May, Post 8862 turned to an online ceremony using TeamLink to award this year's SGM Donald F. Lawery Scholarship.

'It was awarded to the high school senior who best responded to the 'prompt' provided and approved by the Department of Defense Dependents School,' said Post 8862 Commander Rex Shuey. 'It consisted of at least 1,000 words, and those who submitted for the scholarship were then selected by an appointed VFW committee.'

The $1,500 scholarship, created in 2015 and unanimously renamed after the passing of retired Army Sgt. Maj. Donald F. Lawery, a founding father of Post 8862, in 2018, was awarded to Kelly Anne Shinners. The funds are entirely provided by Post 8862 members.

'It was an honor to be this year's recipient,' Shinners said. 'I'm very grateful.'

Shinners graduated this year from Vicenza American High School at Caserma Ederle Army Base in Vicenza, and she intends on pursuing a career as an international peacekeeper. Her aspirations include attending College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Shinners' father is a retired colonel of the U.S. Army, currently employed as a Security Cooperation Directorate for the U.S. Army Africa Command and stationed at Caserma Ederle.

Post 8862 expects to remain on schedule for other events coming up in 2020, which includes the Post's 30-year Anniversary celebration, and a POW/MIA Recognition Day Ceremony scheduled for Sept. 18 at Caserma Ederle.