Jerry Bouck

2023-2024 Theme

"How Are You Inspired by America?"

Student Entry Deadline: October 31, 2023


Patriotic Essay Competition Grand Prize: $5,000 Award


Patriot Pen Entry Form

Patriot Pen Awards List

Patriot Pen Score Sheet

Patriot Pen District Report


At the turn of the 20th century, the founders of the Veterans of Foreign Wars created an organization that would honor and serve veterans and perpetuate the values and ideals for which those veterans had served.  Although men of vision, it is doubtful they could imagine the millions of Americans impacted today by the VFW’s youth, scholarship and recognition programs. Every year, tens of thousands of students nationwide participate in the Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition and the Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest, garnering more than $3.2 million in scholarships, awards, and incentives.

Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest 

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 awards and prizes. Cumulatively, the awards provided from all levels of the competition are around $1.2 million each year. Each first place Department (state) winner competes for $46,000 in award money at the national level with the first place winner receiving $5,000 and a trip to Washington, DC in March.

The deadlines for the Patriot’s Pen essay contest are:

  1. Midnight, October 31Entries to the Post*
  2. November 15, Entries received at your District
  3. December 7, Entries received at Department
  4. December 7, Districts report on post participation, received at the department 

Post entries are required to include the following:

Typed essay in English of 300-400 words (no graphics) and a student entry form completed legibly. All words must be counted.