YOUTH ESSAY CONTESTS

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) offer three (3) Youth Essay Contests each year; for 2020-2021 they are: 

 

1) the Voice of Democracy (VOD) Theme is:

                  "Is this the Country the Founders Envisioned ?” 

 

·       Deadline when it must be received by our Post: October 31, 2020

·       Total Awards: $154,000

·       Top Individual National Award: $30,000

                   

VOD is for students who will be in Grades 9-12 on October 31, 2020. This contest requires the student to make a recording (thumb drive) and turn it in with a typed transcript. They are never more than two pages. See the contest rules (links are below).

 

All entries submitted to VFW Post 3348 are judged by members of the Post. We pay smaller cash prizes down to 3rd place. There are 7 Posts in VFW District #2 (the District we are in).  

 

The winning VOD entry (in District #2) is sent to the VFW Department of Washington (State); they make their own judgment. The student who originates the winning District #2 VOD entry is asked, along with his/her parents, to attend our VFW State Convention in mid-January 2021; all expenses paid. At this State Convention, the State winner is announced. The VOD contest is the only one that does this.

 

District #2 honors the top 3 VOD submissions, from all 7 Posts, in early-January 2021, if COVID-9 has been resolved by then, prior to the mid-winter State Convention. It is usually at the Rainier VFW Post in south Seattle. It is called our "Ice Cream Social” mainly because we provide free ice cream. This is a very popular event; students typically bring their entire family.

 

At our Ice Cream Social, each invited student is brought up on stage to sit with the other District winners. They are individually presented their award and are given the opportunity to read aloud their entry. For 8 years now, I have been blown away by the depth and beauty of what these kids write. 

 

Should the District #2 VOD winner also be the State winner, their entry is sent to National VFW. Only the student is allowed to go to Washington DC, all expenses paid, for the VFW National Convention in late July 2021.

 

The student is escorted to the VFW National Convention by both the State VFW Commander and the State VFW Auxiliary President. The student will join the VOD State winners from the other 49 States. The parents are not allowed.

 

Aside from attending the VFW National Convention, where the President of the United States is usually one of the speakers, the students are bused around to many of the sites in Washington DC. From multiple reports that I have personally heard, from parents of former VOD State winners, this is a life-changing event for each of the students.

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2) The Patriot’s Pen theme is:   

              "What is Patriotism to Me?” 

  

·       Deadline when it must be received by our Post: October 31, 2020

·       Total Awards: $55,000 

·       Top Individual National Award: $5,000

 

The Patriot’s Pen contest is for students who will be in Grades 6-8 on October 31, 2020. This contest calls for the student to submit a typed essay; they are never more than two pages. See the contest rules (links are below).

 

The winning Patriot’s Pen entry in District #2 is sent to the VFW Department of Washington (State). State makes their own judgment. The 2020-2021 State winner of the Patriot's Pen contest is announced at the State Convention in June 2021.

 

The top 3 Patriot’s Pen winners, from each of the 7 Posts in VFW District #2 are invited to the Ice Cream social (see above).

                            ===================

  

3) The WA State Youth Essay theme is:

         "Why American Veterans Should Be Honored” 

·       Deadline when it must be received by our Post: October 31, 2020 

·       Grand Prize: $100                        

               

 
 

The WA State Youth Essay contest is for students who will be in Grades 3-5 on October 31, 2020. This contest calls for the student to submit a typed essay; they are never more than two pages. See the contest rules (links are below).

 

The top 3 WA State Youth Essay winners, from each of the 7 Posts in VFW District #2 are invited to the Ice Cream social (see above).

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Links (below) are to the necessary forms that students need to complete and submit. They can be submitted along with the essay to our PO Box 55164, Seattle, WA 98155. 

  

For more information, call our Youth Activities Committee Chair, Gary Keller (206) 364-3310 - or- Quartermaster, Thom Fermstad (425) 766-5987 -or- Post Commander, Chris Christophersen (206) 362-1657. 

 

Click on the Links below to see the Entry Forms:

·                   Voice of Democracy Rules and Entry Form 

·                   Patriot's Pen Rules and Entry Form   

·                   Youth Essay Rules and Entry Form


 
 
 

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