Wyatt Perkins

Mayville 12-year-old Wyatt Perkins, right, won the 2021 North Dakota Patriot’s Pen competition. Here, he stands next to Bruce Newland, North Dakota VFW Department Commander, and Devils Lake student Hannah Vaagen, who won the state Voice of Democracy competition.

There were no April Fools’ Day jokes played on the Perkins family this year.

On April 1, Mayville 12-year-old Wyatt Perkins was announced as the national Patriot’s Pen essay winner through the national Veterans of Foreign Wars organization.

A sixth-grader, Perkins wrote of his experience raising money for the local food pantry to explain what patriotism meant to him.

“I think patriotism is doing something to help one’s community or country,” Wyatt said. “It took me about one month to finish (the essay) all up.”

Wyatt, who is being homeschooled this year due to being at high risk for COVID-19 infection, had never before participated in the contest.

In fact, he didn’t really care for writing before he penned his winning entry.

His father, Jason, who is the local VFW Post 4221 commander in Mayville, said they had Wyatt compose the essay as a writing assignment for his schooling. 

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