The Veterans of Foreign Wars believes strongly in good citizenship and fostering patriotism. Each year youthful minds are encouraged to examine OUR nation's history and their own experiences in modern American society through our Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition and the Patriot's Pen youth essay-writing contest. Starting in September of each year the VFW, Post 1503 solicits input from students who are enrolled in a public, private, parochial high school or a home study program within the boundaries of the Eastern end of Prince William County.

VOICE OF DEMOCRACY ESSAY 2019  theme is: "Why My Vote Matters"

Each year, nearly 38,000 high school students from across the country enter to win a share of the $2.2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the VFW's Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition.

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.

The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient's American university, college or vocational/technical school. Other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000, and the first-place winner from each (state) VFW Department wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

Students should record their reading of the draft to an audio CD or flash drive. The recording can be no shorter than three minutes and no longer than five minutes (plus or minus five seconds).

Entries begin at the Post level. Once the student creates their essay and completes burning the audio version to an audio CD/flash drive, they can submit their typed version, CD/flash drive and the Voice of Democracy entry form to their local participating VFW Post by the November 1 deadline.


Originality is worth 30 points: Treatment of the theme should show imagination and human interest.

Content is worth 35 points: Clearly express your ideas in an organized manner. Fully develop your theme and use transitions to move smoothly from one idea to the other.

Delivery is worth 35 points: Speak in a clear and credible manner.


The Voice of Democracy Program is open to students in grades 9-12 (on the Nov. 1 deadline), who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States and its territories.

PATRIOTS PEN ESSAY 2019  theme is: "Why I Honor The American Flag" 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. 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 Ladies 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.


Other activites that Post 1503 support and participate with are the Boy Scouts of America. VFW Post 1503 is the Charter Organization and proudly sponsors Boy Scout Troop 1919; formed in 1986. We provide special presentations for Scouts receiving the Eagle rank. We encourage our leaders to be fully trained and provide scholarships for troop leaders to take the BSA Woodbadge Training program. Our troop regularly attends summer camp, has monthly campouts and supports the Post in semi-annual street clean up and jointly supports many community activities and youth programs with the VFW.

The Troop has regular meetings every Wednesday at 7:30 P.M. until 9:00 P.M. at the VFW Post on Minnieville Road in Dale City.