The Kenneth B. Keating, VFW Post #26, announces the Post #26 winners of the annual Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest at a lunch meeting in the Middle School Cafeteria on Wednesday, May 17th. Receiving the 1st Prize is Joshua Vogt, the 2nd Prize recipient is Megan Reinke, and the 3rd Prize goes to Omar Armbruster. Making the awards is the Post #26 Comander Floyd Watkins, second from the left. Also present for the presentation are, from the left: Walt Eckhardt, Post Adjutant; Dave Dinehart, Post Quartermaster; and Tom Reynolds, Past Post Commander.
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.
Lindi Compton, an eighth-grade student, was named the 2016-17 Patriot’s Pen national first-place winner. Her essay on the theme, “The America I Believe In,” won her a $5,000 award. Lindi was sponsored by VFW Post 5813 and its Auxiliary in Greensburg, Ky.
Post #26 received 73 entries in the Patriot’s Pen contest prior to November 1st last year. The Post was able to submit the three winners and two additional entries for a total of five to the VFW District Contest. The VFW District winner is advanced to the New York State VFW for determination of the state winner that is submitted to the national VFW contest.
For 2017-18 the theme is: America’s Gift to My Generation. Middle School students next year should start now to develop their submission. The following guidance is adapted from the VFW web site:
Essays must be no less than 300 words and cannot exceed 400 words. They should be submitted to the VFW Post, along with the completed Patriot’s Pen entry form no later than the October 31 deadline.
JUDGING CRITERIA: 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.