BEAVERCREEK — The Beavercreek Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Memorial Post 8312 is encouraging Greene County students to express their patriotism through two scholarship essay competitions.
The local post is sponsoring both programs again this year. Patriot’s Pen is open to all sixth, seventh, and eighth graders in public, private, parochial or home schools. Voice of Democracy is open to all high school students.
The theme for Patriot’s Pen this year is “What is patriotism to me?” Contestants will be judged on their 300-400 word typed essay. National winners will receive at least $500. The first-place national award is $5,000.
During a community awards ceremony at the Beavercreek VFW last year, local winners read their essays to a room full of veterans and families.
“For 243 years, America has been a beacon of hope for the world. Although we are not a perfect nation, I truly believe that America is the greatest nation in the world,” first-place winner Brooklyn Hager said. “Being an American means being free. It means that we don’t judge people by their race, choices, or religion. Being an American means being loyal to our country and standing united under our glorious flag.”
This year, “Is this the country the founders envisioned?” is the theme for the Voice of Democracy contest. Annually, high school students compete for more than $2 million in scholarships by participating in the audio essay contest, which the VFW started in 1947. Prizes and scholarships are awarded at the post, district, state and national level.
High school students will write and record a 3-5 minute essay on an audio CD or a flash drive and submit it with the typed essay. They will be judged on originality, content and delivery.
“America is great because of our devotion to the American dream,” second-place winner Anna Yang said last year, reciting her essay. “We, Americans, part of an aggregate of cultures, religions, ethnicities and backgrounds, are united by this one idea. The dream is personal, individual, unique to you and unique to me, yet it belongs to all of us.”
More than 140 local students entered the competitions last time. So far, the VFW has received about 60 entries for the middle school contest.
Students should return their completed essays by drop off or mail to VFW Memorial Post 8312, 2389 Dayton-Xenia Road, Beavercreek OH 45434, by midnight on Saturday, Oct. 31. Applications can be picked up at the post or by emailing [email protected]. For more information, call 937-477-0799.