The 2020-2021 theme is: 

What is Patriotism to Me?

Each year more than 132,000 students in grades 6-8 enter, the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $54,500, with each first-place state winner receiving a minimum of $500 at the national level. 

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.

Want to apply? For rules and applications go to or contact VFW Post 630 at (217) 367-4197.  Deadline for all entries to VFW Post 630 is October 31, 2020