Voice of Democracy

Commander C.P. Stewart of Joe Wagner Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7313 has announced the kick-off of this year’s VFW’s Voice of Democracy Scholarship competition. Local high school students have the opportunity to compete for thousands of dollars in scholarships and a trip to Washington, D.C. 

Students in grades 9 to 12 must write and record a three-to-five minute essay on the selected theme using a flash drive and present their recording, typed essay and completed entry form to the Post by October 31. The 2022-23 theme selected is "Why Is The Veteran Important?”. Students begin by competing at the local Post level, then Post winners compete at the District level with the winners advancing to the state  and national competitions. 

All state first-place winners receive a four day trip to Washington, D.C., and the chance to compete for their share of more than $150,000 in scholarships. The first-place winner receives a $30,000 college scholarship. 

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) started the Voice of Democracy Scholarship program in 1947. The VFW became a national sponsor in the late 1950s and assumed sole responsibility for the program in 1961. The competition was created to provide students grades in 9-12 the opportunity to express themselves in regard to democratic ideas and principles. 

Around 40,000 students participate in the competition each year and VFW awards more than $2.1 million in educational scholarships every year. 
Interested students and teachers should contact the Voice of Democracy Chairman at joe Wagner Post 7313 by phone at 919-542-0927 or email the Post at for more information. 

For additional details and entry forms, visit:

Patriot's Pen
Commander C.P. Stewart of Joe Wagner Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7313 announced the kick-off of the VFW’s annual Patriot’s Pen youth essay competition. Middle school students in grades 6-8 in this area 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 2022-2023 competition is "My Pledge To Our Veterans.”

Students begin by competing at the local Post level. Post winners advance to District competition with District winners advancing to the state and national competitions. State first-place winners compete for their share of thousands of dollars in awards, and the national first-place winner is awarded $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

Each year, more than 125,000 students participate nationwide. Deadline for student entries is October 31, and interested students and teachers should contact Joe Wagner Post 7313 by phone at 919-542-0927 or email the Post at for more information.

For additional details and entry forms, visit:
Teacher of the Year
Commander C.P. Stewart of Joe Wagner Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7312 has announced the kick-off of this year’s Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award contest. 

Every year, the VFW recognizes exceptional teachers for their outstanding commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students. The winning teachers from each (state) Department receive a national citation for themselves, and one for their school. 

Current certified/licensed teachers of grades K-12 can be nominated by fellow teachers, students, family members, other interested individuals or nominate themselves. Teachers who promote civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism, and strive to help students develop a better understanding of democratic values and beliefs are prime candidates for the award. Nominations must be turned in by October 31, 2022 to either or:

Joe Wagner VFW Post 7313
P.O. Box 1775
Pittsboro, North Carolina 27312 

Nominated teachers compete at the local VFW Post level with the winner advancing to the district level competition, if applicable, with the winner advancing to the state level competition by Jan. 1 2023. State first place winners are advanced to National Headquarters by Feb. 1 2023 for national level competition. 

The VFW enacted the Teacher of the Year award contest in 1999 as a way to identify and recognize America’s best educators. The VFW annually recognizes the nation’s top teachers who instill a sense of national pride in students by teaching citizenship education topics regularly and promoting America’s history and traditions effectively. 

If you are interested in nominating yourself, or a teacher you know for this contest, visit for details and entry forms.