Contests & Scholarships

Patriots Pen - Each year more than 125,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $50,000, with each first-place state winner receiving a minimum of $500 at the national level. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in March.

Voice of Democracy - The VFW established the Voice of Democracy program (VOD) in 1947 to provide students grades 9-12 the opportunity to express themselves in regards to democratic ideas and principles.

Boy Scout of the Year - Through the VFW's Scout of the Year program, members of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts who display standout citizenship, patriotism and love of country have the opportunity to be rewarded with college scholarships of up to $5,000. Sch

Teacher of the Year - The VFW Teacher of the Year award contest recognizes three exceptional teachers for their outstanding commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students. Each year, a classroom elementary, junior high and high school teacher whose curriculum focuses on citizenship education topics—for at least half of the school day in a classroom environment—can be nominated for the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award.

Nick Bacon Memorial Scholarship - Nicky Daniel "Nick" Bacon (November 25, 1945 – July 17, 2010) is a recipient of the Medal of Honor and the Veterans of Foreign Wars has since honored him with the establishment of the Nick Bacon Memorial Scholarship for children and grandchildren of disabled veterans and has named VFW Post 285 in Surprise, Arizona in his honor. The Nick Bacon Memorial Scholarship Fund awards annual college scholarships to selected and deserving children and grandchildren of Veterans who have been rated 30% service-connected disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and are a current member of an Arkansas VFW or were a member of an Arkansas post at the time of their death.