2023-2024 "PATRIOT’S PEN” ESSAY PROGRAM
"How are you inspired by America?"
All information pertaining to the theme, judging, eligibility, awards and other aspects of this program are contained in the Veterans of Foreign Wars program booklet for the Patriot’s Pen Essay Program. Post Chairmen are responsible to ensure that their Post programs are conducted within these rules and deadlines. Post Chairmen are solely responsible for the conduct of the program,
The Patriot’s Pen Essay Program is a joint program with the VFW Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Hawaii. The Auxiliary does not need the permission of a Post to participate in the Patriot’s Pen Essay Program. Post Chairmen are expected to include their VFW Auxiliary counterparts in all activities concerning the conduct of local programs. Coordination of the Post program is the sole responsibility of each Post Chairman. Post Chairmen must refer to their Department program for their Department program requirements and deadline dates.
- Eligibility -
Sixth (6th), Seventh (7th) and Eighth (8th) grade students in public, private, parochial and home schools in the State of Hawaii. Former first place winners at the State and National level competition or any foreign exchange student are not eligible. Students do not have to be a relative of a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars or its VFW Auxiliary to participate.
- Essay -
Essays must be typed, or computer printed in English, between 300-400 words, with no added color or art. Every word is counted regardless of length. The essay title or added footnotes do not contribute as part of the word count. In no way may the contestants identify themselves within their essay.
- Posts -
To receive credit for participation in the Patriot’s Pen Essay Program, a Post MUST SPONSOR THE PROGRAM IN THEIR COMMUNITY. While it is important to offer the Patriot’s Pen Essay Program in our schools, it is not solely a program for the schools. You may offer the competition to any sixth, seventh or eighth grade student. Foreign exchange students are not eligible. All entries MUST be submitted directly to the Post. They may be sponsored through local schools, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Church youth groups, Junior ROTC programs, etc. The Post is encouraged to solicit participants from as many sources as possible.
The Post will hold their own judging and may submit to Department the number of students permitted by the following breakdown.
Posts may advance as many winners as they select based on the total number of students participating. Post judging is the responsibility of the Post Chairman and must be conducted in accordance with the National Judging Criteria.
The Post may forward each 1st place winning entry to Department. Each student entry submitted by a Post to Department must be an equal 1st place winner. This means each Post student entry sent to Department must receive the same award. For example, a Post has 55 student entries and is eligible to send four entries to Department for judging. These four entries must each receive an equal first place award from the Post. If the Post lists them as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th place, then they can only send in one entry as the 1st place winner.
It is the responsibility of the Post and Department Adjutants to input the Patriot’s Pen entries into the All-American Dashboard. This is to include all monetary values spent on this event. Failure to do so can cause the Post to show a Not Met in this category.
- Department -
The Department shall be responsible for the conduct of the program and judging of entries within the Department. The Department Chairmen is expected to promote the expansion of the program by encouraging the participation of additional Posts. Posts may solicit student participation from any geographical area within the State of Hawaii and American Samoa as long as they do not interfere with the sponsorship of other Posts. It is unacceptable that a school is not contacted.
The Department may submit only one entry to the National for judging. This entry must be certified on the proper National Entry Form by the Department Chairman to be the Department First Place Winner of the Department Program judging.
The following items MUST accompany the Post entry to Department for judging.
It is the responsibility of the Post Chairman to ensure that all materials are included. Any entry that does not include all materials may not be judged.
- Reporting -
To obtain program credit the Post Chairman portion of the Student Entry Form must be completed and submitted to Department with each Post entry. The form must include the number of students participating from the school and the approximate cost for the program and awards for that school. Proper credit cannot be given without this information. Department Chairmen are required to prepare and submit a consolidated report of Post participation using the Department Summary Form.
It is the responsibility of the Post and Department’s Adjutant to input the Patriot’s Pen entries into the All-American Dashboard. This is to include all monetary values spent on this event. Failure to do so can cause the Post to show a Not Met in this category.
- Deadlines -
Deadline for Post sponsored program entries is October 31, 2023. Post judging may not be held before November 1, 2023 and must be completed in time to ensure that winning entries are delivered to the Department Chairmen by December 9, 2023.
Department judging is the responsibility of the Department Chairman to be conducted in accordance with the National Judging Criteria.
The Post deadline for Department entries is December 9, 2023. This deadline is ABSOLUTE and it includes all paper work. Department judging will be closed and will be the responsibility of the Department Committee. Be advised that the state judging will be attended only by the VFW Department Committee Members, VFW State Auxiliary Committee Members and the State Judges. The Committee has the sole authority to disqualify from the Department judging any entry which is in violation of the rules as stated in the Department Program and the National Program booklet.
It is the responsibility of the Post and Department to input the Patriotic Pen entries into the All-American Dashboard. This is to include all monitory values spent on this event. Failure to do so can cause the Post to show a Not Met in this category.
- Awards -
All Post awards are the responsibility of the Post.
Department awards will be presented at the 2024 Department of Hawaii Mid-Winter Conference at the VOD/PP Luncheon on February 10, 2024. Department winners receiving Department awards will be invited to Mid-Winter Conference and are expected to be present. The Post assumes the cost of their winner’s transportation and lodging. The Department will provide each Department winner two luncheon tickets. Luncheon tickets for family members and other guests are the sole responsibility of the guests and or the sponsoring Post.
To meet the requirements of the All-State program a Post must submit a Patriot’s Pen entry.
Randy Grant Patriot’s Pen Chairman