Patriot's Pen

The VFW believes in good citizenship and fostering patriotism. That is why we encourage youthful minds to examine our nation's history and their own experiences in modern American society through our Patriot's Pen youth essay-writing contest. Annually, over 100,000 students from grades 6-8 , enter to win money for college, as well as an all expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the National first place winner. Students draft a 300-400 word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic annual theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief.

2024-2025 THEME

National Patriots Pen link


The Patriot's Pen program is open to students in grades 6-8 (on the October 31 deadline) who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States and its territories.

Students can as a teacher or youth group leader to supervise their progress in the competition. Then students can contact a local participating VFW Post and establish a contact person who is a member of that Post or its 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 then the October 31 deadline. 

Patriot's Pen Entry form below:

2024-2025 Patriot's Pen form