Each year more than 68,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest for a chance to win their share of nearly $1 million in state and national awards. Each first place state winner receives a minimum of $500 at the national level, and the national first place winner wins $5,000!

The 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. Want to apply?

Read the rules and eligibility requirements, and

Download and complete the 2024-2025 Patriot's Pen entry form as the deadline to qualify, all student entries must be submitted to VFW Post 10125,p; PO Box 898, Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-0898 or a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight, Oct. 31, 2024.

The 2024-25 theme is:

"My Voice in America's Democracy?"

Email entries and questions to