Compete in VFW Patriot’s Pen essay contest

Submitted by Patty Locher, Sabetha Memorial Post 7285 of VFW

The VFW has announced the start of this year’s Veterans of Foreign Wars and its Auxiliary “Patriot’s Pen Program” competition. Veterans of Foreign Wars annually offers the Patriot’s Pen essay contest for middle school students, with a new patriotic theme each year. The theme for the 2018-19 contest is “Why I Honor the American Flag.”

It’s not too early for interested students to begin working on their entries, which are due locally by Oct. 31. The Patriot’s Pen program is an 300- to 400-word essay competition that gives students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on our nation’s foundation with the prospect of winning U.S. savings bonds.

All sixth- through eighth-grade students in public, parochial, private or home schools can enter. Foreign exchange students and winners who have placed in the National finals are excluded from the contest. With the deactivation several years ago of the Hiawatha VFW post, and the 2016 deactivation of the Horton VFW post, leaving no active VFW post in Brown County, area students who are interested in entering this contest are encouraged to submit their entries to Sabetha Memorial Post 7285.

The top three place winners at the Sabetha Memorial Post 7285 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars level will receive monetary awards locally and a certificate of recognition, and the first-place winner’s essay will be forwarded to district level.

The Department of Kansas (state-level) program will give monetary awards in the amounts of $250, $150 and $75 for first-, second- and third-place winners, respectively.

VFW National prizes totaling $54,500 will include a first-place prize of $5,000, plus an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the winner and a parent or guardian.

Submissions must strictly adhere to the rules stated in the entry form. Judging criteria are listed on the contest entry form. Current entry forms with instructions can be downloaded from the website at; click on “Community,” then “Youth and Education,” then “Youth Scholarships.”

For more information about the Patriot’s Pen essay contest, contact Patty Locher, Sabetha VFW Post 7285 Youth Programs Chairperson, at 785-284-0387, or email her at

Send entry submissions to Patty Locher, Sabetha VFW Memorial Post 7285 Youth Programs Chairperson, 3373 Antelope Road, Sabetha, KS 66534, to arrive no later than Oct. 31. Submissions received after Oct. 31 will not be eligible.

Past Winners

In 2016, one of two of Post 7285’s Patriot’s Pen essay selections, submitted by Sabetha Middle School seventh-grade student Emma Popkess, placed first at First District, first at State, and she received a $1,000 scholarship from the National level, in addition to her monetary awards from Post 7285, First District and State.


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