2021-22 Theme "How can I be a good American?"
VFW believes strongly in good citizenship and fostering patriotism. That’s 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, roughly 112,000, students from grades 6-8, enter to win one of several savings bonds totaling $1.2 million, 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 an — always patriotic — annual theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief.