The Ladies Auxiliary of VFW Post 9400 once again hosts its Voices of Democracy essay contest for high school students (grades 9-12). In addition, the group presents a “Patriot Pen” essay contest for middle school students.

The topic for the 2014-2015 Voices of Democracy program is “Why Veterans Are Important to Our Nation’s History and Future.” High school students who wish to enter the contest will complete the statement in both a written essay and a 3- to 5-minute recording on a CD. Judging is based on originality, content, and speech delivery on the recording. Students must speak clearly on the recording and the volume should be reasonably high enough to hear.

The essay, CD and entry form must arrive at the VFW Post 9400, 804 E. Purdue, Phoenix, AZ 85020, by Nov. 1. You can download the entry form at:

Certificates will be presented to all entrants, and the first place winner will receive a cash prize and advance to the district competition. Winners of the district contest will receive an additional cash prize and advance to state, and that winner could receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national competition and a chance at the $30,000 first place prize.

The theme of this year’s Patriot’s Pen Contest is “Why I Appreciate America’s Veterans.” All sixth, seventh and eighth grade students are eligible to write an essay of 300-400 typewritten words. Entries with accompanying entry forms also must be received by Nov. 1 at the Post. Download the entry form at

Judging is done by the local Post, then by district, then by state judges. Cash prizes are available at all levels. National prizes are U.S. Savings Bonds ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. Judging is based on how well the student understands, develops and presents the theme. A positive approach is recommended.

For more information, call President Tamela Jasmann at 623-328-7636 or Tom Landy at the Post at 602-943-9930.




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