VOICE OF DEMOCRACY
Each year, more than 51,000 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.
Knowing that a democratic society needs nurturing, 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 an all-expense-paid trip to
VFW believes strongly in good citizenship and fostering
patriotism. That's why we encourage youthful minds to examine
our nations history and their own experiences in modern
American society through our Patriot's Pen youth essay-writing
Annually, roughly 112,000, students from grades 6-8, enter to
win one of several savings bonds totaling $1.2 million, as well as
an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the National
first place winner.
Students draft a 300-400 word essay, expressing their views
based on an - always patriotic - annual theme chosen by the
VFW IN THE CLASSROOM
The VFW strives to thank our nation’s educators year-round by
arming them with helpful resources and visits to local
classrooms. Loving America and all it stands for is what we do
best. Let us help you educate our future leaders.
Contact the Townsend VFW at 978-597-5644 or email us at
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to have a Veteran
visit your class.
MILITARY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (MAP)
Our Military Assistance Program (MAP) is the outstretched
hand between the local VFW and military community, offering
support around the world. Since 2005, MAP has sponsored
events supporting over 2 million service members and their
A large part of MAP is the Adopt-a-Unit program, providing VFW
Posts and their Auxiliaries the opportunity to adopt hundreds of
military units around the world. Adopt-a-Unit's goal is to develop
supportive relationships with units before, during and after
deployments to help deliver the vast network of resources the
VFW has available to the military.
Unmet Needs is there to help America's military families who
have run into unexpected financial difficulties as a result of
deployment or other military-related activity or injury. The
program provides financial aid grants of up to $1,500 to assist
with basic life needs in the form of a grant - not a loan - so no
repayment is required. To further ease the burden, we pay the
The needs of our veterans, service members and their families
should never go unmet. Let us offer you a hand up when you
SCOUT OF THE YEAR
Some of the VFW’s earliest ties to the community involve youth
groups. Few are stronger - and none more lasting - than the
close relationship between the VFW and Boy Scouts of
America, dating back to 1915.
Each year, the VFW selects three young men - of the Boy
Scouts, Sea Scouts or Venturing Crew - who have
demonstrated practical citizenship in school, scouting and the
community. The first-place winner receives a $5,000 award, the
second-place winner receives a $3,000 award and the third-
place winner receives $1,000.
TEACHER OF THE YEAR
Each year three exceptional teachers are recognized by the
Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) for their outstanding
commitment to teach Americanism and patriotism to their
students. The VFW annually recognizes the nation’s top
classroom elementary, junior high and high school teachers
who teach citizenship education topics-at least half of the
school day in a classroom environment-and promote America’s
history, traditions and institutions effectively.
The VFW’s National Citizenship Education Teacher Awards
(Teacher of the Year) include the following items:
• A $1,000 award to the top K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 grade teachers
for professional development expenses.
• $1,000 award for each winning teacher’s school.
• Plaques for both the winning teacher and school.
• An all-expenses-paid trip to attend a VFW conference and
receive their award.
Get the latest information and materials on VFW's Voice of
Democracy, Patriot's Pen and Teacher Award programs.
VFW Operation Uplink™ program - a calling program for
deployed service members that provides free phone time to
active-duty military personnel and hospitalized veterans.
Operation Uplink initially provided calling cards to deployed and
hospitalized troops, but on Mother's Day in 2006, due to the
growing popularity of the program, and thanks to the generosity
of corporate donors like Sport Clips Haircuts and Harleysville
Insurance, the program began hosting "Free Call Days."
The program is the only one of its kind, providing at least three
designated days each month when deployed service members
can make FREE phone calls home to the U.S. from their
Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) center or military DSN
SPORT CLIPS HELP A HERO SCHOLARSHIP
The VFW's "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship" provides
service members and veterans with the financial assistance
they need to complete their educational goals without incurring
excessive student loan debt. It’s just another way for us to say
“thank you” to those who fought for our freedoms.
Scholarships of up to $5,000 will be awarded to qualified
applicants. Applications for the fall semester will be accepted
January 1 through April 30. Applications for the spring semester
will be accepted August 1 through November 15.
Fall semester scholarships will be awarded in August, and
spring semester scholarships will be awarded in January.
Scholarships must be used by the end of the school semester
for which the veteran is applying.