2024-2025 Patriot's Pen Essay Contest!

The VFW is dedicated to promoting patriotism and investing in our future generation. If you are a patriotic middle school student interested in winning $5,000, this scholarship may be for you.

VFW believes strongly in good citizenship and fostering patriotism.


Each year, nearly 68,800 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! 


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. Before submitting your essay, download the 2024-2025 entry form here.

All student entries must be submitted to Loudoun County VFW Post 1177 by midnight, Oct. 31

About the 2023-2024 winner ...

Bryant Day, an eighth grade student from Ashland, Ohio, was named the 2023-2024 Patriot's Pen first place winner. His essay on the theme, "How Are You Inspired by America?" won the national first place $5,000 award. Bryant was sponsored by VFW Post 9943 and its Auxiliary in Mansfield, Ohio.

Watch as Bryant delivered his winning essay during the VFW's Parade of Winners streamed live on Facebook, or read his essay here. See the complete list of 2024 national winners.


This year's Theme for 2024-2025 is: "My Voice in America's Democracy?"



Loudoun County Virginia students should first ask a teacher, parent, or youth group leader to supervise their progress in the competition. Next, it's time to start drafting your essay on the Patriot's Pen theme.


(For Students residing outside of Loudoun County Virginia, please click HERE to find a VFW

Post near you!)


Essays must be no less than 300 words and should not exceed 400 words and must be submitted by mail to VFW Post 1177, along with the completed Patriot's Pen entry form.




Knowledge of the theme is worth 30 points: You must show a thorough knowledge of the theme in your work. Demonstrate you have researched the issue extensively.


Theme development is worth 35 points: Answer all relevant facts about the theme such as the who, what, where, when and why. Relate the theme to your own experiences.


Clarity of ideas is worth 35 points: Write your essay in an easy-to-understand format. Leave your reader with a clear understanding of your explanation of the theme.


Loudoun County VFW Post 1177 will select a winner from Loudoun County to compete in this prestigious competition at the District level (NOVA) and winners will go on to compete at the State and National level.


For more information or any questions you may have, please contact the PP Team at contact1177@vfw1177.orgThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ATTN: PP


Please mail the completed application (we'll fill-in the LOCAL POST INFO) and typed essay to:

VFW Post #1177
Attention: Patriot's Pen
401 Old Waterford Road 
Leesburg, VA 20176-2120

All submissions must be received before 31 October