Montpelier, VT - Each year more than 138,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest for a chance to win their share of more than $900,000 in state and national awards. Each first place state winner receives a minimum of $500 at the national level, and the national first place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300 to 400 word essay, and expressing their views on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief. This years theme was "What is Patriotism to me?"
The Department of Vermont has announced that they have selected Ben Hourdequin, a 7th grader from Richmond Middle School in Hanover NH as their representative for the national competition. Ben, who was sponsored by White River Post 2751 in White River Junction, is interested in running, skiing, math and writing. Ben has just finished hiking all of the 48 mountains in New Hampshire that are over 4,000 ft. showing his grit and determination. We all wish Ben the best of luck as he travels to Washington, DC to represent the department of Vermont as he competes for the first prize award of $5,000.