For years, Maumee, Ohio resident Larry Monroe didn’t speak much about what he saw and experienced as a young machine gunner in World War II, fighting on behalf of the United States and allied forces in Europe.
But when Monroe co-founded Maumee VFW Post 11115 in 1991, he realized the importance of talking about the war, patriotism, democracy and freedom. And he began sharing his war experiences to carry on the memories of the sacrifices that veterans made for this country. He particularly enjoyed speaking with Maumee school children, until his death in March 2009.
Many Maumee High School graduates may recall Monroe and his fellow VFW members from the veterans’ visits to their classrooms, during which they told their real-life tales of war. They encouraged students to remember veterans and honor their sacrifices by expressing their patriotism.
Students at Gateway Middle School and Maumee High School have an opportunity each year to do just that, through participation in the VFW-sponsored Patriot’s Pen essay writing contest and Voice of Democracy audio essay contest. Essays submitted to Maumee Post 11115 are judged carefully, with local winners’ essays selected to then compete on the district, regional, state and – for the best of the best – national levels.
The essay contests, which Monroe had helped judge for years, were among the veteran’s favorite pet projects. His family felt it was a fitting tribute to his legacy to start a memorial scholarship fund for local essay winners.
Annually, the Monroe family aims to award Lawrence F. Monroe Memorial Scholarship funds to Post 11115’s Patriot’s Pen and Voice of Democracy essay winners.
On Aug. 21, a golf scramble and dinner held at South Toledo Golf Club, 3915 Heatherdowns Blvd., will raise scholarship money for next year’s winners. The entry fee for golfers is $75, which includes 18 holes of golf. Tee-off time is at 2 p.m., and a dinner of brats and hamburgers will be served afterward. Non-golfers may attend the dinner only, for $20.
Local businesses wishing to support the Lawrence F. Monroe Memorial Golf Scramble may contact the Monroe family for information on sponsorships starting at $100.
The deadline to enter is Saturday, Aug. 14. For registration or sponsorship information, contact the Monroe family at 419-381-2138 or at LFMMemorialGolf@gmail.com.
For more information about Patriot’s Pen or Voice of Democracy, visit www.vfw.org.
The Monroe Family of Maumee, Ohio