Sonoma VFW essay contest winners announced

The Veterans of Foreign Wars has announced the local winners of its two annual essay competitions. The first place winners in 2018 will go on to compete in the district competition. The local winners receive a certificate and cash prizes at the annual awards banquet in January.

Following are the winners of the 2018-2019 competitions:

Voice of Democracy

Theme – “Why My Vote Matters”

First place – senior Aidee Pressley, Sonoma Valley High School

Second place – senior Alex McIntyre, Sonoma Valley High School

Third place – senior Arabella Davis, Sonoma Valley High School

The National Association of Broadcasters 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 in grades 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.

The Patriot’s Pen

Theme - “Why I Honor the American Flag”

First place – Beatriz Lopez, eighth grade, Altimira Middle School

Second place – Liam Kelleher, seventh grade, St. Francis Solano School

Third place – Julia Sandoval, seventh grade, St. Francis Solano School

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 Veterans of Foreign Wars is the nation’s largest and oldest war veterans organization. Founded in 1899 and chartered by Congress in 1936, the VFW is comprised entirely of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, guard and reserve forces. With nearly 1.7 million VFW and Auxiliary members located in nearly 6,400 Posts worldwide, the nonprofit veterans service organization is dedicated to veterans’ service, legislative advocacy and military and community service programs.

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