I have been devastated for 8 years over thinking that I lost this medal in Hurricane Katrina. Even while sorting through things in storage for the past 2 weeks, it was on my mind. I tackled a box today that contained items that were salvaged after the storm, but hadn't been touched since then. I had no clue what I'd find, but didn't think any of it would be sentimental.
I had considered many times writing Skills USA (VICA) and asking if there was any possibility of a replacement, but I never found the nerve because I thought they would say no.
Representing Pascagoula, Mississippi in VICA State Competition was one of the most incredible moments of my life. At the age of sixteen, I finally felt like I was good at something. I had discovered my niche. I wanted to work in the field of Graphic Arts and Commercial Printing all my life, but my dream was cut short only a few months later thanks to Periodic Paralysis.
I was so shocked and thankful when I ran across it, I burst into hard, ugly sobs to the point that I thought I might collapse. I don't cry often but I'm exhausted from crying over finding this treasure. The medal means a lot to me and I regretted so much that it was gone. I can't believe it was in the bottom of a box all this time. It is badly tarnished and molded from flood water and sewage, but I hope I will be able to have it restored someday. When I do, I'm getting it professionally framed.
Now I'm crying all over again. I'm going to go send a card to my Graphic & Print Instructor now.