VFW annual youth essay competition announced
September 1, 2022
The 2022-2023 Veterans of Foreign Wars Youth Essay competition is about to begin. Each year the VFW sponsors a nation-wide competition within grades 9-12, the Voice of Democracy and grades 6-8, the Patriots Pen. Washington State VFW sponsors a similar competition within grades 3-5, Youth Essays, as well as the Patriots Pen and Voice of Democracy.
Students write essays based on given patriotic themes and the essays are evaluated by the local VFW Post. This year the themes are for the Voice of Democracy, “Why is the Veteran Important?”; Patriots Pen, “My Pledge to Our Veterans”; and Youth Essays, “Why are Veterans so important to us?”
Last year, at the end of the competition, first, second, and third place winners were recognized with certificates and a total of $1,275 in cash awards from Wahkiakum Post 5297. Youth Essay winners compete at the Post, District and up to the State level. Patriots Pen and Voice of Democracy compete at the Post, District, State and up to the National level. Winners are awarded certificates and cash awards along the way. First place Voice of Democracy winners can win up to $30,000 and Patriots Pen up to $5,000, at the National level.
In addition to promoting patriotism and investing in our future generation, each year the VFW selects elementary, middle, and high school teachers to participate in the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher program. Wahkiakum Post 5297 will recognize teachers with certificates and cash awards. Winners will compete at the Post, District, State and up to the National level.
With school starting on August 31, applications will be sent to each of the schools with the deadline of October 31. The Wahkiakum Post 5297 Youth Essay Program Chairman is Post Junior Vice Commander, Art Young, with Post member Bob Roche assisting and mentoring Art. Both will work with the Wahkiakum School District in conducting the student essay and teacher competitions.
Wahkiakum Post 5297 encourages all students to participate and examine history, along with their own beliefs and experiences, and express their views based on the themes provided.