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 Annual VFW Youth Scholarship Competitions Open
Entries must be received at a participating VFW Post by Oct. 31

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (April 13, 2021) –
 The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is now accepting entries for its 2021-22 Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen youth scholarship competitions. The announcement comes less than two weeks after the VFW hosted its first-ever, virtual Parade of Winners where the top national winners of both contests were recognized.

Dedicated to encouraging a better understanding and appreciation of America, the VFW’s Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay competitions help foster patriotism among today’s youth. The popular contests also promote friendly competition and rewards success in the form of more than $3 million in combined scholarships at the local, state and national levels.

The Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition, with this year’s theme of "America: Where Do We Go From Here?” is open to all 9-12th grade students. Each state winner competes at the national level where the first place $30,000 scholarship prize is awarded. Annually, more than 50,000 students compete in the competition. Erin Stoeckig, sponsored by VFW Post 1215 and its Auxiliary in Rochester, Minnesota, was the 2021 national Voice of Democracy winner. Listen to her deliver her award-winning essay.

Open to eligible sixth, seventh and eighth grade students, this year’s theme is "How Can I Be a Good American?” Wyatt Perkins, sponsored by VFW Post 4221 in Portland, North Dakota, was awarded the 2021 Patriot’s Pen first place prize. Listen to his award-winning entry here.

Student entries, accompanied with a completed entry form, must be submitted to a local participating VFW Post. The deadline for both contests is Oct. 31, 2021.

 Find your local VFW Post, or read more about the competitions

Changes made to the 2021-2022 Chairman’s Manual:


1.      Judging no longer has to be conducted in person. You may conduct your judging remotely at the Post, District and Department level.

2.      VOD audio recorded on CDs will no longer be accepted. The preferred format is now Flash Drives/USBs or email submission.


Entry Forms:


1.      VOD and PP entry form’s now have the same layout.

2.      The Washington D.C. trip has been added back to the VOD entry form.

3.      All mention of CDs has been removed, and students are instructed they may submit via email to the VFW Post upon approval.

4.      The VOD Participant Agreement for Students Advancing to National Level has been updated.



Voice of Democracy 

Patriot Pen

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