INDIAN TRAIL – Commander Ted Crowley, of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the James B. Crump VFW Post 2423, announced the kick-off of the VFW’s annual Patriot’s Pen youth essay competition.

Middle school students have the opportunity to compete and win thousands of dollars in national awards. The VFW enacted the Patriot’s Pen competition in 1995 to encourage young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society by composing a 300- to 400-word patriotic-themed essay.

The theme for the 2021-22 competition is “What is patriotism to me?”

Students begin by competing at the local post level. Post winners advance to district competition. District winners advance to the state competition. State first-place winners compete for their share of thousands of dollars in awards. The national first-place winner is awarded $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. More than 125,000 students participate nationwide.

The deadline for student entries is Oct. 31. Interested students and teachers should contact their local VFW Post 2423 by phone at 704-684-5931 or email the post at for more information.

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