Patriot's Pen


                    Patriot's Pen logoPP 1st place 2014

 Alexis Canen, an 8th grade student, was named the 2013-2014 Patriot's Pen 1st-place winner.                    

Her essay on the 2013-2014 theme, "What Patriotism Means to Me" won her a $5,000 award. Alexis was sponsored by VFW Post 1125 and Ladies Auxiliary in Glendive, Mont.  



The Patriot's Pen program is open to students in grades 6-8 (on the Nov. 1 deadline), who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States and its territories.

Please note: Current eighth grade students are not eligible for the 2014-2015 Patriot’s Pen contest.  They can, however, enter the Voice of Democracy for students that will be in the 9th-12th grade on November 1, 2014. 


The deadline for submissions for the 2014-2015 program is November 1, 2014.  Download the application here.  

NEW: The theme for 2014-2015 is: "Why I Appreciate America's Veterans"

Students can ask a teacher or youth group leader to supervise their progress in the competition. Then students can contact a local participating VFW Post and established a contact person who is a member of that Post or its Ladies Auxiliary.

Essays must be no less than 300 words and cannot exceed 400 words and should be submitted to the Post, along with the completed Patriot's Pen entry form no later than the November 1 deadline.


Knowledge of the theme is worth 30 points: You must show a thorough knowledge of the theme in your work. Demonstrate you have researched the issue extensively. 

Theme development is worth 35 points: Answer all relevant facts about the theme such as the who, what, where, when and why. Relate the theme to your own experiences.

Clarity of ideas is worth 35 points: Write your essay in an easy-to-understand format. Leave your reader with a clear understanding of your explanation of the theme.

Read the previous winning essay from 2012.
Read the previous winning essay from 2013


FIND A POST to contact VFW members near you or visit a VFW STATE DEPARTMENT website.

Attention Teachers!

NASSP SCAA logo 2012The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed this program on the NASSP National Advisory List of Contests and Activities for 2013-2014VFW thanks all of America's teachers and youth leaders for the time, effort and commitment they invest in our young people each year. We have a number of ways in which to assist you in helping to ensure your students get a head start on their future.