The VFW is dedicated to promoting patriotism and investing in our future generations. If you are or know of a patriotic middle school student interested in winning $5,000, this is the program for you.

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 more than $1.4 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. A complete list of the 2022-23 National winners can be seen here.

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 click here for the official 2023-24 entry form application. Fill it out completely on line, print, sign and enclose with your entry. Remember, all student entries must be submitted to Wake Forest Memorial VFW Post 8466 by midnight, October 31. The 2023-24 theme is "How Are You Inspired by America?".

Contact us by email through this website to arrange for delivery of your entry, or simply mail it to us (must be postmarked before midnight, October 31) using the address at the bottom of this page.