Garner: Community

VFW hosts national pride competitions for students, teachers

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 10225 and its Auxiliaries will host a number of nationwide competitions for America's youth and their teachers.

Each competition will be held at the local level, with the winners being submitted to compete at the next level for district, state and national prizes. Prizes are available at each level; however, the national winner of all awards will receive an all-expense-paid trip to a national event where they will be honored with other national winners and receive their prize.

The first competition is the annual Voice of Democracy audio essay contest, open to all ninth- through 12th-grade students enrolled in public, private or parochial schools in the U.S. Started in 1947, this nationwide competition requires that students write and record a 3- to 5-minute speech on the theme "Why Veterans are Important to our Nation’s History and Future." The national first place winner will receive a $30,000 college scholarship, and each state winner will win a trip to Washington, D.C., where the national finals will be held. The deadline for submitting entries is Nov. 1.

The second competition is the Patriot's Pen essay contest, which is open to all sixth- through eighth-grade students who must write a 300-400 word essay expressing their views on the theme "Why I Appreciate America's Veterans." Entries must be submitted by Nov. 1. The first-place national award is $5,000 plus an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the winner and a parent or guardian.

The third competition is for high school artists who express their artistic talents and demonstrate their patriotism through original art work in the Young American Creative Patriotic Art contest. The deadline for submission is March 31. The national first place winner in this competition will receive a $10,000 scholarship and a trip to the National Convention in Pittsburg in July.

For teachers, the VFW has the annual National Citizenship Education Teacher's Award. This competition is aimed at identifying and recognizing America's best educators who instill a sense of national pride in students. Teachers must apply for this award by Nov. 1, and the national winner will receive a personal award of $1,000, $1,000 for their school, and a trip to a VFW conference to receive their award.

Additional information, rules and applications for all contests can be obtained from the VFW web site at or by calling the Garner VFW Post at 772-1062.