Public Awards

Patriot's Pen - Voice of Democracy -
Smart/Maher Teacher of the Year
2022 - 2023

VFW Annual Youth Scholarship Competitions

More than $3 million in scholarships and awards are presented each year.


The Patriot's Pen theme for this year is:

“My Pledge to Our Veterans”

Downloadable form


The Voice of Democracy theme for this year is:

“Why Is the Veteran Important?”

Downloadable form



The Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award

for Elementary, Middle and High School Teachers and their Schools

Downloadable form


The submission deadline for Patriot's Pen / Voice of Democracy essays / 

Teacher of the Year Awards 

is October 31, 2022.


If you need applications for these you can contact the Americanism Chairman at VFW Post 27. 

Or write the Americanism Chairman below:

VFW Post 27

ATTN: Americanism Chairman

CMR 467 Box 7000

APO AE 09096



VFW Opens Annual Youth Patriotic Scholarship Contests

The programs award more than $3 million to middle and high school students


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is now accepting entries for its 2022-23 Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen youth scholarship competitions. America’s high school students will be required to answer, “Why Is the Veteran Important?” while middle school students will have the opportunity to declare, “My Pledge to Our Veterans.”

Encouraging a better understanding and appreciation for America, the VFW’s Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay competitions help foster patriotism among today’s youth. The programs also offer friendly competition as well as reward success in the form of individual scholarships totaling more than $3 million.

The Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition is open to all students in grades 9-12, with the top national prize scholarship totaling $30,000. Nearly 25,000 high school students compete in the annual competition. This year’s winner was sponsored by VFW Post 9486 and its Auxiliary in Centereach, New York. Listen to her award-winning audio-essay here.

Open to all students in grades 6-8, more than 68,800 students participate annually in the Patriot’s Pen essay competition. The 2021-2022 Patriot’s Pen first place winner, was sponsored by VFW Post 521 and its Auxiliary in New Iberia, Louisiana. Listen to his award-winning entry here.

Student entries may be submitted (along with a completed entry form) to their local participating VFW Post. The deadline for both contests is Oct. 31, 2022.

Find your local VFW Post, or read more about the contests.