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Patriot's Pen Scholarship Program

Patriot's Pen Program
Grades 6th, 7th & 8th

Conducted nationwide, this VFW-sponsored youth essay competition gives students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme. We invite you to join the more than 84,000 students who participated last year in this contest.

Scholarship Prizes

Prizes and scholarships can be awarded at the Post, District, State and National level. Department (State) winners receive a portion of $55,000 in national awards. National Winners will receive at least $500. The first-place national award is currently $5,000.

How Does the Program Work?

All entries begin at the VFW Post level. The only exception is where schools/classes/youth groups have large numbers of students and wish to conduct their own competition, submitting one winner for each 15 students to the VFW Post. Individual students may submit their entry directly to the Post.

The contest consists of four levels. The first level (entry) is sponsored by VFW Posts. Post winners advance, one for every 15 entries, to the VFW District (regional) level where the one first-place winner is advanced to the VFW Department (state) level. The first-place winner at the Department level is then advanced into the VFW national competition.

2022-2023 Theme
"My Pledge to Our Veterans"

2023 Patriot's Pen Winner Group Pic.jpg

2022-2023 Patriot's Pen
Texas VFW Winners

2022-2023 Patriot's Pen 2-6th Winners_Program.jpg
Patiot's Pen

Voice of Democracy Program


Every year thousands of Texas students participate in the VFW Youth Scholarship Programs at the Post, District and National Level competing for more than $1.9 million in scholarship money. 

The Patriot’s Pen Contest is a writing essay contest for students in the 6-8th grades or equivalent if home schooled. For entry form, click here

The Voice of Democracy Contest is an oral essay contest for students in the 9-12th grades or equivalent if home schooled. For entry form, click here. 

The Scout of the Year Contest is open to Scouts who have earned a Boy Scout Eagle Award, a Venture Scouting Silver Award or a Sea Scout Quartermaster Award. For more information, click here.

For more information, click here.

Patriot's Pen

Patriot’s pen gives 6th, 7th and 8th grade students the opportunity to express their opinion on a patriotic theme and improve their writing skills, while they compete for worthwhile awards and prizes. First place winner will receive a $5,000 Savings Bond.

2021-2022 Essay Contest Theme:

"How Can I Be a Good American?"


2021-2022 Texas VFW Patriot's Pen Winner:

Karlie A. Barnes

6th grade

Whitney Middle School, Whitney, Texas

Post Sponsor: 12176-Whitney

District Sponsor: 29

2021-22 Patriot's Pen Winning Essay

The 2022-23 Patriot's Pen theme is: 

“My Pledge to Our Veterans.”

All student entries must be submitted to a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight October 31, 2022

Download rules and eligibility requirements here

Voice of Democracy
2021-22 VOD Winning Essay

Since 1947, the Voice of Democracy has been the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ (VFW’s) premier scholarship program. Each year, more than 100,000 high school students compete for more than $2.5 million in scholarships and incentives.Students compete by writing and recording a broadcast script on an annual patriotic theme. 

Prizes and scholarships are awarded at the local, district, state and national level. Department (State) winners receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. in March to tour the city, meet our nation’s leaders, be honored by the VFW and its Auxiliary and to compete in national awards with the top scholarship being $30,000.

2021-2022 Essay Contest Theme:

"America: Where Do We Go From Here?"

2021-2022 Texas VFW 1st Place Winner:

Felicity J. Roberts

12th Grade | Homeschooled

Southlake, Texas

Sponsored By: District 21, Post 10454 | Grapevine, Texas

$10,000 Scholarship 

Scholarship Sponsor: V-Sweeps Scholarship


The 2022-23 Voice of Democracy theme is:

“Why is the Veteran Important?”

All students must be assigned to a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight October 31, 2022

Download rules and eligibility requirements here

Scout of the Year
Scout of the Year 2020-21 photo-Kyna M. McGill.jpg

Scout of the Year

Kyna M. McGill

Scout Troop #127007

Katy, Texas

Sponsored by

Post  9182, Katy, Texas & District 17

Scouts who are registered, active members of a Boy or Girl Scout Troop, Venturing Crew, or a Sea Scout Ship who have received the Eagle Scout Award, Girl Scout Gold Award, Venture Summit Award or Sea Scout Quartermaster Award. For more information click here.


Rules & Eligibility Requirements

VFW Scout of the Year Entry Form (Deadline to VFW Post is March 1, 2022)


Besides the VFW's outstanding scholarship programs, Posts and Auxiliaries across the nation work with youth in scouting, sports, ROTC and military cadet programs. By providing leaders, funding, sponsorships and other resources, the VFW and its Auxiliaries encourage millions of America's young adults to higher ideals and greater personal achievement.

Effective August 31, 2023 - This site is being relocated to

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