Program Description

Each year approximately 68,800 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 $1,400,000 in cash awards at the Post, District, State and National levels.  Each first-place State winner receives a minimum of $500 at the National level, and the National first-place winner wins a $5,000 scholarship.

This 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.

VFW Post 12002 is once again proud to support this program and provide the following cash prizes at the Post level :

                    1st Place Winner  - $200.00        2nd Place Winner  -  $150.00        3rd Place Winner  -  $100.00

For each 15 entries received by the Post, one winner is entered into the District 3 competition for additional cash awards and a chance to compete at the State level.

[ The total cost of the 2022-2023 program was underwritten by an educational
grant from Operation Santa Charities, Inc., a Georgia-based charity ]

How to Apply

1.  Read the Rules and Eligibility Requirements

2.  Download and complete the 2023-2024 Entry Form  

3.  Create your Essay using Microsoft Word or Note Pad

4.  If you have any questions, contact one of Post 12002's Patriot's Pen Program Co-Chairs :

                  Harald Sundal    678-557-3789
                       Tony Lay               404-805-2187

5.  Submit your Entry Form and typed Essay by eMail to a Program Chair by midnight on October 31

This Year's Theme 

The 2023-2024 theme is   How Are You Inspired by America?
Post Winners for 2022-2023 
    1st Place    William Hudkins    Queen of Angels Catholic School (Roswell)

    2nd Place     Clara Hudkins     Queen of Angels Catholic School (Roswell)
    3rd Place      Maya Mendez      Queen of Angels Catholic School (Roswell)

State Winners for 2022-2023 

Anna Sutton, from Swainsboro, Georgia, was Georgia's 2022-2023 Patriot's Pen 1st Place winner. For her excellent essay, she received a $500 award from the State VFW and an additional $500 award from the National VFW.

Aiden Loomis, sponsored by Post 5408 in Acworth, was the 2nd Place winner

Kennedy Butler, sponsored by Post 2667 in Newnan, and
   Lanie Nistler, sponsored by Post 6686 in Eatonton, tied for 3rd Place.

National Winners for 2022-2023 

Leighton Peters, a seventh-grade student from Rice Lake, Wisconsin, was named the 2022-2023 Patriot's Pen National first place winner.  Her essay on the theme, "My Pledge to Our Veterans" won her a $5,000 award.  Leighton was sponsored by VFW Post 2204 and its Auxiliary in Rice Lake, Wisconsin.

Watch Leighton deliver her winning essay during the VFW's Parade of Winners streamed live on Facebook
    ( Click on the "2022-2023 Patriot's Pen Winner" shortcut in the "2023 Legislative Conference" video window ) ...

          ... or read it here)

See the complete list of 2022-2023 National Winners