Reaching out into our communities is vital to our organization, developing relationships with community leaders, media, school faculty and local civic groups can greatly assist each post in achieving the VFW mission.
Washington Retsil Veterans Home Port Orchard
The Washington Veterans Home was built in 1910 in Port Orchard and is located on a 31- acre bluff overlooking the Sinclair Inlet of Puget Sound.  Today the Veterans Home is a state-of-the-art, non-institutional facility providing a "Resident Centered Care" concept that focuses resources around the individual resident. All primary services for a resident are available within a forty-bed "neighborhood." The Home serves 240 residents needing skilled-nursing care. 
Youth Essay
 Veterans of Foreign Wars and Its Auxiliary, Department of Washington, State Youth Essay Program Rules and Regulations, Grades 3-4-5 

Participants must compose their own essay. The essay must be clearly handwritten, typed or computer prepared.
Judging will be under the guidance set by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  Judging will include 30 points for addressing the theme, 30 points for clarity of Ideas, 40 points for Theme Development.
Since this program is completely voluntary, a student does not have to go through his/her school to participate.  Any student from any school in the State of Washington may enter the program by contacting a local Post or Auxiliary for rules and Official Entry form.  Home Schooled students are also eligible.
A copy of the Official Entry form must accompany the essay.  All sections of the official entry form MUST be completed at the Post/Auxiliary level.  Entry forms MUST be signed by a parent.
All essays become the property of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of Washington.  If copies are desired, you must make your own.  Chairman will not return essays. Contest begins at the start of the school year. Length:  Not to exceed 250 words. Student’s Name, City, or School MUST NOT be on the essay, only on the entry form. Essay must stay within the prescribed subject matter and there can be NO added color or artwork. Essay written in poem form will not be accepted. The Post or Auxiliary sponsoring the school MUST do the judging at the local level.
Essays due to local Post/Auxiliary by: October 31st. Any Essay not received by the deadline will not be accepted.

Youth Essay Application

Patriots Pen Essay Contest
Patriot’s Pen provides 6th, 7th and 8th grade students the opportunity to express their opinion on a patriotic theme and improve their writing skills while they compete for worthwhile awards and prizes. Awards can be given at the local, district and state levels. The state winners compete for $55,000 in awards at the national level. The first-place national winner receives a $5,000 award and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington D.C., where they tour the city. The entry deadline is October 31.
Write a 300-400 word essay on the annual theme available online at or by calling 816.756.3390. Use the competition as a patriotic assignment and encourage the students with the best essays to complete the entry form and forward those, along with the essay, to the local VFW Post competition.
Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) started the Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition in 1947. The VFW became a national sponsor in the late 1950s and assumed sole responsibility for the program in 1961. Many notables have participated in Voice of Democracy including journalist Charles Kuralt, Miss America Anita Bryant and U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. The Voice of Democracy competition provides high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors the opportunity to write and record an essay on a patriotic theme, competing for more than $2 million in college scholarships and incentives. State winners receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to enjoy our nation’s capital and compete for $154,000 in scholarships - first place receiving a $30,000 scholarship. Deadline is October 31.
Write an essay on the annual theme available online at or by calling 816.756.3390. Again, use the competition as an essay contest and encourage the students with the best essays to record their essays, complete the entry form and forward them, with the recording and typed essay, to the local VFW Post competition.
Voice of Democracy Application  
 Teacher of the Year
Teachers who promote civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism are prime candidates for the award. If you know a teacher who plans field trips to city hall, organizes community volunteer projects or invites local veterans to speak in class, anything to help students develop a better understanding of democratic values and beliefs, this award is for them. 
Based on the nominees submitted, VFW's local chapters - called Posts - will recognize one outstanding teacher in grades K-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Posts then submit their winning names and required Documents to their District-level judging. From there, the selected winners and required documents are forwarded to the Departmentlevel (state-level). Once they are judged on a state level, the winners are passed along to VFW National Headquarters for consideration in the national awards contest.