HAWLEY -Before Travis York received his high school diploma from Wallenpaupack Area High School a few weeks ago, he was recognized for his thoughts on patriotism in an essay contest.

Joe Majesky from Hawley American Legion Wilson-Kelch Post 311 commended York for the essay in which he had to explain what being patriotic meant to him. Within the entire district, which consists of 28 legions, York placed second. Majesky gave York a certificate that was signed by the district commander and the chairman of the committee for his “outstanding essay,” a silver medal and a monetary prize.

Surprised by the award, York said his family was his inspiration, since his father served in the Gulf War and he has an uncle who served in Germany during the Cold War and so, he is grateful to all veterans who “volunteer their time and their lives to this country.”

Now, York will be pursing a degree in fishery and wildlife sciences and then he plans on participating in the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.