VFW announces 2014 essay themes for middle and high school students

March 18, 2014

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States held its awards ceremonies in Washington, D.C., recently for the 2013-14 contest winners.

The top prize for the Voice of Democracy audio essay contest was a $30,000 scholarship which went to Madison Haley, a senior from Mount Pulaski High School in Illinois. The top winner from each state attended and received their National VFW scholarship awards, as well as having an all-expense-paid trip to Washington for the week. Delaware's winner was Ashley Rainey, a senior at Paul M. Hodgson Vo-Tech High School, sponsored by VFW Post 3420 in Newark. She received $1,000 as well as her trip expenses.

More than $2.1 million in scholarships and incentives are awarded each year. Prizes are awarded at the local level at VFW posts, as well as additional prizes at district, state and national levels. The deadline for the next competition is Nov. 1. The new theme is Why Veterans are Important to Our Nation's History and Future, and the contest is open to high school students in grades nine to 12 (public, private, parochial and home schooled). This contest consists of a 3- to 5-minute essay on a cassette or CD.

The National Patriot's Pen essay contest winner for 2013-14 was Alexis Canen, an eighth-grade student from Montana who won $5,000. She also won a trip to Washington. Delaware's winner was Jessalyn Lierenz, an eighth-grade student from Middletown, who won $500. The deadline for the next competition is Nov. 1. The new theme for the Patriot's Pen Essay Contest is Why I Appreciate America's Veterans. This competition consists of a 300-400-word typewritten essay and is for students in grades six, seven and eight (public, private, parochial and home schooled). Prizes are awarded at the post, district, state and national levels.

VFW Post 7447 in Rehoboth recently held an awards program pizza party for the winners at various levels of the competition where cash prizes and citations were presented. Many students like to work on these essays during spring break or during the summer, and they are encouraged to get their forms now. Contact Barbara McGowan, Rehoboth VFW Post 7447 Ladies Auxiliary, at 302-645-7689 or with questions, specific requirements, and to receive entry forms; or contact the Rehoboth VFW at 302-227-3469. Forms can also be downloaded from Entries must be sponsored by a VFW post.

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