VFW Kicks Off the

2020-2021 Annual Youth Scholarship Competition


The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is now accepting entries for its 2020-2021 Patriot’s Pen youth scholarship competition.  Dedicated to encouraging a better understanding and appreciation of America, the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen competition helps foster patriotism among today’s youth.  The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief.


Each year more than 138,000 students in Grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot's Pen youth essay contest for a chance to win their share of more than $900,000 in state and national awards. Each first place state winner receives a minimum of $500 at the national level, and the national first place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. 


All student entries, accompanied with a completed entry form, must be submitted to your local VFW Post by midnight, October. 31, 2020.







 "What is Patriotism to Me?"



Click on the image below for the entry application form.



Contest Rules & Eligibility Requirements







Reference my information in July's General Orders, regarding the status of our Youth Programs this year in view of the virus and the school closings. "At this time, National's plans are to proceed as normal, hoping that by the time schools are scheduled to open the virus will permit the programs to go on as normal." However, National will inform us of changes to the programs, should the situation preclude an environment to safety proceed. Please review the additional guidance I included in the July General Orders on this year's plans for the Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen Programs. I am also going to include this information on our Department website for your reference.   


Students may be returning to classes, in one form or another, during the month of August. Consequently, it is important that we are prepared  to go forward with this year's programs, and  have program chairman appointed at both the Post and District levels. In addition, we need to start promoting our programs as soon as possible after the schools are back in session.  If we visit with the administrators and teachers early enough, they many be able to incorporate the programs into their classroom schedules.


Our Mid-Winter Conference is scheduled for Jan 8-10, 2021. Consequently, we will have to adjust our Department of Idaho program deadlines, as the National Deadlines do not allow for us to complete our programs prior to our Mid-Winter Conference, where we recognize and honor the winners. (For example:  The National Deadline for Completion of District Judging is January 10).  Therefore, please note the following deadlines we have established for our Department of Idaho for both the Youth Programs and the Teacher of the Year:


Student Entries to the Post -- October 31, 2020

Post Judging Results to District -- November 15, 2020

District Judging Results to Department -- November 30, 2020      


And, finally, the virus has impacted each of us, and required us to make major adjustments in our daily lives. Thus, we recognize that operating in this environment will pose challenges that may be difficult to overcome. Understanding this, all we can ask is that we do our very best within the constraints we may be facing.


I am always available to assist and respond to  any questions or concerns you may have with either the Voice of Democracy or Patriot's Pen Programs. 


Best wishes,


Bob Jones 

Youth Program Chairman

Department of Idaho




 Department of Idaho

Patriot's Pen Winner

Brodie Merrell

Sponsored by District #6 - Post 3646 Glenns Ferry

Please see Brodie's Speech below.