SCOTTSBLUFF - Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW) announces the kick-off of the 2019 -2020 VFW’s Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen scholarship competitions.

The VFW’s Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay competitions are dedicated to encouraging a better understanding and appreciation for the country and foster patriotism among the nation’s youth. Students are asked to submit an essay in response to a question or statement on a subject which prompts them to consider how American history and democratic ideals and principles apply to their lives.

This year’s Voice of Democracy theme asks students to contemplate, “What Makes America Great?” The Voice of Democracy scholarship competition is an audio-essay open to students in grades 9-12. The national winner will receive the $40,000 T.C. Selman Memorial Scholarship Award.

The Patriot’s Pen competition is open to students in grades 6-8 and students are asked to reflect on the same question. The national winner will receive a $5,000 award.

Student participants are asked to submit their entry, along with a completed entry form, to their participating local VFW Post. The deadline for student entries in both contests is Oct. 31, to the local VFW Post.

There are also cash prizes for the local post, district and state judging. You can contact Tom Arends at 308-631-1198, for more information or forms. Forms may also be available at VFW Post #1681, from 8 to 10 a.m. Forms are also available online at

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