2016-2017 "PATRIOT’S PEN” ESSAY Program
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. District Chairmen are responsible to ensure
that their District programs are conducted within these rules and
deadlines. District Chairmen are solely
responsible for the conduct of the program within their Districts. Make sure that you distribute copies of your
program to all Posts in your District in sufficient time to ensure a successful
The Patriot’s Pen Essay Program is a joint program with the VFW Auxiliary
to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Michigan. The Auxiliary does not need the permission of a Post to participate in
the Patriot’s Pen Essay Program. Post
and District Chairmen are expected to include their VFW Auxiliary counterparts
in all activities concerning the conduct of local and District programs. Coordination
of the District program is the sole responsibility of each District
Chairman. Post Chairmen must refer to
their District program for their District program requirements and deadline
America I Believe In”
Eligibility: Sixth (6th), Seventh (7th)
and Eighth (8th) grade students in public, private, parochial and
home schools in the State of
Michigan. 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
ESSAY: Essays must be typed or computer printed in English, between
300-400 words, on a single sheet of paper, with no added color or art.
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
The Post will hold their own
judging and may submit to District the number of students permitted by
the following breakdown.
School Release Form 2016- 2017.pdf
1-15 student participants = 1 top Post entry is allowed to advance to
16-30 student participants = 2 top Post entries are allowed to advance to
31-45 student participants = 3 top Post entries are allowed to advance to
46-60 student participants = 4 top Post entries are allowed to advance to
61-75 student participants = 5 top Post entries are allowed to advance to
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
District. Each student entry submitted
by a Post to District must be an equal 1st place winner. This means each Post student entry sent to
District must receive the same award. For example, a Post has 55 student entries and is eligible to send four
entries to District 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.
School Option. A teacher working in cooperation with a Post
can elect to hold a competition in the school, judge the participants and
advance one student entry selected as the school first place winner. The one declared school winner will advance
to District as the "school winner” from each participating school sponsored by
Each District shall be responsible for the conduct of the program and
judging of entries within their District. District Chairmen are expected to promote the expansion of the program
by encouraging the participation of additional Posts. It is not always possible to restrict
sponsorship strictly along VFW District boundaries. Posts may solicit student participation from
any geographical area within the State of
Michigan as long as they do not interfere
with the sponsorship of other Posts. District Chairmen are expected to assist Posts in the coordination of
sponsorship of all schools in their District. It is unacceptable that a school
is not contacted.
Each District may submit only one entry to the Department for
judging. This entry must be certified on
the proper National Entry Form by the District Chairman to be the District
First Place Winner of the District Program judging.
The following items MUST accompany the District entry to Department for
A) One student essay in
accordance with the above rules.
B) One completed student
entry form from the National Program booklet.
C) One good quality picture,
preferably wallet sized.
D) One signed student release
form provided by Department.
E) One State Biographical Questionnaire
for the District Winner.
It is the responsibility of the
District 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
District 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. District Chairmen are required to prepare and submit a consolidated
report of Post participation within their District using the District Report
Form and the District Summary Form. These reports should accompany the District entry to Department.
Deadlines: Deadline for Post sponsored program
entries is November 1, 2016. Post
judging may not be held before November 2, 2016 and must be completed in time
to ensure that winning entries are delivered to the District Chairmen by
November 15, 2016.
District judging may not be held before November 16, 2016 and must be
completed in time to ensure that the winning entry with all required materials
are delivered to the Department Chairman by December 7, 2016. District judging is the responsibility
of the District Chairman to be conducted in accordance with the National
Department deadline for District entries is December 7, 2016. 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
All Post and District awards are the responsibility of those
Department Awards will be as
FIRST PLACE: $1,000.00 Wes Longanbach Memorial Award and a plaquepresented by the Department of Michigan Veterans of Foreign Wars.
SECOND PLACE: $750.00 VFW
Auxiliary Award and a plaque presented by the Department of Michigan VFW
THIRD PLACE: $750.00 and a plaque presented by Harry & Pamela Croyle and .
FOURTH PLACE: $500.00
District 15 Award presented by District 15 Department of Michigan, Veterans
of Foreign Wars and a plaque.
FIFTH PLACE: $500.00 District 9
Award presented by District 9 Department of Michigan, Veterans of Foreign
Wars and a plaque.
SIXTH PLACE: $500.00 Barry and Pam Walter Award presented by Barry
and Pam Walter, Check for the Post 4005 VFW& Auxiliary Members and a plaque.
SEVENTH PLACE: $500.00 District 7 & VFW Auxiliary Award presented
by District 7 Commander & VFW Auxiliary and
EIGHTH PLACE: $500.00 Julia Van Tiem Shonts Award and a plaque presented
by James & Sandy Van Tien.
NINTH PLACE: $500.00 NEEDS A SPONSOR
TENTH PLACE: $500.00 Post 334 and VFW Auxiliary and a plaque
presented by the Commander and President.
ELEVENTH PLACE: $500.00 4406 VFW Post and VFW
Auxiliary and a plaque presented by
the Commander and President.
TWELTH PLACE: $500.00 10th District & Judges
The "Wes Longanbach Memorial
Traveling Trophy” will be awarded to the Post of the 1st place
winner to display for one year. The
trophy will be returned to the Department Chairman not later than December 7
each year to be awarded to the Post of the next year’s State winner.
Department awards will be presented at the 2017 Department of Michigan
Mid-Winter Conference. District winners
receiving Department awards will be invited to Mid-Winter Conference and are
expected to be present. The sponsoring
District must assume the cost of their winner’s transportation, meals and
lodging. Department will provide each
District winner one banquet ticket. Banquet tickets for family members and other guests are the sole
responsibility of the District in cooperation with the sponsoring Post.
Harry "Les” Croyle, Director James
M. Galen, Assistant Director
30086 Trailwood Drive 76200 North Ave.
Warren, Michigan 48092 Armada, Michigan
Shepherd VFW Auxiliary Chairman