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During the dog days of summer Shelby County Memorial Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8904 and the Ladies Auxiliary invite area Junior High and High School students to start thinking about entering one of the youth essay programs available to them.  Home schooled students are also eligible to enter.

Since 1947, the Voice of Democracy Program has been the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ premier scholarship program for high school students in grades 9 – 12.  Students compete by writing and recording a broadcast script of 3 – 5 minutes on an annual patriotic theme.  This year’s theme is “Why I’m Optimistic About Our Nation’s Future”.


The Patriot’s Pen program gives students in grades 6 – 8 an opportunity to write a 300 – 500 word essay expressing their views on democracy.  This year’s theme is “What Patriotism Means to Me”. 


Nationally the Patriot’s Pen winner receives $5,000 cash and the Voice of Democracy winner receives a $30,000 scholarship.  The first step is at the post level where the winner will advance to district competition and then to the state level.  Each state winner is given an all-expense paid trip to Washington D. C. to compete in the national finals.  Winners receive cash and/or scholarships at each level.


Entry forms will be given to all area schools shortly after the beginning of the 2013 – 14 school year.  You can however get a jump on things by picking up an entry form at Chief Imaging, 614 Tenaha St. in Center.  Entries are due to Post Quartermaster Larry Hume (598-2976) by November 1st, 2013.  To learn more about the programs go to: