Patriot's Pen

2016 - 2017

Each year more than 1,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest across Texas. The first-place winner from each district competes to win worthwhile awards and prizes. Texas First place winner will receive a $10,000 Savings Bond.   The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in March.


The Patriot's Pen program is open to students in grades 6-8 (on the Nov. 1 deadline), who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial school or home study program in the United States and its territories.


Click here to access the Patriot's Pen 2016-17 entry form and brochure.

To view a complete list of all national awards available, click here

If you experience problems with downloading or printing the application, please try to access the entry form using Internet Explorer. If you continue to experience problems, please contact the VFW National Headquarters at for assistance.

The 2016-17 theme is: The America I Believe In 

Students can ask a teacher or youth group leader to supervise their progress in the competition. Then students can contact a local participating VFW Post and establish a contact person who is a member of that Post or its Auxiliary.

Essays must be no less than 300 words and cannot exceed 400 words. They should be submitted to the Post, along with the completed Patriot's Pen entry form no later than the November 1 deadline.


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.

 All entries must be submitted to VFW Post 4008 competition committee. If you have difficulty identifying a sponsoring post in your area, contact the Patriot's Pen Chairman at the Department Office.

Please send application to VFW Post 4008 / VFW Auxiliary for submissions.


VFW Post 4008 / VFW Auxiliary

P. O. Box 36

Belton, TX 76513