Voice of Democracy Audio-Essay Content

The 2023-2024 theme is “What Are the Greatest Attributes of Our Democracy?”

Established in 1947, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Voice of Democracy audio-essay program provides high school students with the unique opportunity to express themselves in regards to a democratic and patriotic-themed recorded essay. Each year, nearly 25,000 high ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade students from across the United States of America enter to win their share of more than $1.3 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the program.

The national first place winner receives a $25,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college, or vocational/technical school. A complete list of other national scholarships range from $1,000 to $21,000, and the first place winner from each VFW Department (state) wins at least a scholarship of $1,000. 

Download and complete the 2023-2024 Voice of Democracy entry form. Before submitting your essay, read the program rules and eligibility requirements.

Make sure to have a picture for entries going to the State competition.

The 2023-2024 Voice of Democracy theme is “What Are the Greatest Attributes of Our Democracy?”

Jim Gray (Post 5080) is our Chairperson. You can reach her at vod@georgiavfw.org.

  1. State Winner of the Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest receives $500 and a plaque. This entry is submitted to VFW National for the national competition.
  2. Second place receives $200 and a certificate.
  3. Third place receives $100 and a certificate.

6th, 7th, and 8th grade students properly enrolled in public, private, parochial, or home schools in Georgia are eligible to enter the Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. Foreign exchange students and former winners that placed at National finals are excluded. 

First place winner receives $5,000 and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C.

Look for the Patriot’s Pen in the Scholar’s App as well as VFW.org/PatriotsPen

  • Entry to Post by October 31
  • Post judging completed by November 15
  • Post updates to Program Dashboard by November 15
  • District Judging completed by December 1
  • District approves Post reports on Programs Dashboard by December 1
  • State Judging completed by December 31
  • State winners to National by January 15