Community Interest

VFW Posts Holds Annual Student Essay Competitions

The Veterans of Foreign Wars are conducting their Annual Student Competitions, the Patriot’s Pen and the Voice of Democracy, for scholarships with patriotic and democratic themes. Students can compete at the local, regional, state and national levels.

The Patriot’s Pen allows middle school students to write essays expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme nationwide. This year’s theme, chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief, is “My Pledge to Our Veterans.” Patriot’s Pen is open to 6 – 8th-grade students that are homeschooled or enrolled in public, private, or parochial schools. The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history and experiences in modern American society by drafting a 300 to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on the patriotic theme “My Pledge to Our Veterans.” A completed entry form must be submitted with your essay. The scholarship amounts for the local level have not yet been determined; each first-place state winner receives a minimum of $500, the national first-place winner receives $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

The Voice of Democracy is an audio essay program that gives high school students the unique opportunity to express themselves in a democratic and patriotic-themed recorded essay. This year’s theme is “Why is the Veteran Important?”. To enter, record your original 3- 5 minute audio essay on a flash drive, and submit the recording, typed essay and the completed entry form. This scholarship is open to students in grades 9-12 who are homeschooled or enrolled in public, private, or parochial schools. The scholarships at the local level have not yet been determined. The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. Other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000, and the first-place winner from each VFW Department (state) wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington D.C.

Entries must be submitted to the New Melle VFW Post 5651, P.O. Box 36, New Melle, MO 63365 by October 31, 2022. You may also hand-deliver your entry to the Post at 555 Foristell Rd., New Melle, MO. The VFW opens at 3 p.m. on weekdays and at noon on Saturdays and Sundays. To find the rules, guidelines, and entry forms for both competitions, visit ABOUT THE VFW: The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is the nation's largest and oldest major war veterans organization. Founded in 1899 and chartered by Congress in 1936, the VFW is composed entirely of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, Guard and Reserve forces. With nearly 1.7 million VFW and Auxiliary members located in more than 6,600 Posts worldwide, the nonprofit veterans' service organization is proud to proclaim “NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS” than the VFW, which is dedicated to veterans’ service, legislative advocacy, and military and community service programs. For more information or to join, visit