VFW Post 3629 Announces Post Winners of Voice of Democracy Scholarships

Karen Lundquist - 2/16/2017

Since 1947, the Voice of Democracy has been the Veteran of Foreign War’s (VFW’s) premier scholarship program. Each year almost 40,000 high school students compete for more than $2 million in scholarships and incentives. Students compete by writing and recording a 3-5 minute audio essay on an annual patriotic theme. This year’s theme is "My Responsibility to America.” Prizes and scholarships are awarded at the Post, Department, District and National levels. This year’s winner, Ben Davis, is a 10th grade student from Ben Eielson Junior/Senior High School. Runner-up is Katrina Keller, an 11thgrade student from North Pole High School. Davis receives a plaque and a check for $100, and Keller, a certificate and a check for $50, as means of recognition for this honor. 

For more information, please contact Jr. Vice Commander Bob Martin at (907) 479-3629.

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ABOUT THE VFW: The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is a nonprofit veterans service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, Guard and Reserve forces. Founded in 1899 and chartered by Congress in 1936, the VFW is the nation's largest organization of war veterans and its oldest major veterans organization. With nearly 1.9 million VFW and Auxiliary members located in more than 6,800 Posts worldwide, "NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS.” The VFW and its Auxiliaries are dedicated to veterans’ service, legislative advocacy, and military and community service programs. For more information or to join, visit our website at www.vfw.org.


AUDIO ESSAY OF BEN DAVIS

2016-17 Theme – Voice of Democracy

"My Responsibility to America”

 America is a beautiful place. The more people realize this, the better off our country will be. In America we are a very diverse society ranging from numerous different backgrounds, from all over the world. Because of this quality we are more united, and understanding towards those less fortunate. We are a nation with values of Democracy and Freedom as a driving force of our country. We are United and help each other up through the worst of times and the best of times. It is our duty, and our responsibility as Americans, to defend those critical values, to give back what we have been given, and to preserve the ideologies of our Founding Fathers, not only for ourselves, but also for all future Americans.

 In America, because I have been helped, it is my duty to help others. I believe this is the never-ending process of success, and by continuing this process of lifting one another up, we become a stronger nation. This is especially true in education. In many cases, the path to success is through our knowledge and abilities. In order to make America a more successful and prosperous country, our students need to be successful. I can do this by helping my fellow classmates, and those who are struggling to reach their full potential, through academic success.

 I was helped in many ways to reach my potential in academics, by people who were willing to help me, and sacrifice their time for my success. These people have been my teachers, leaders, family, and friends. It is my responsibility to America to exemplify these helping characteristics I have been shown, by caring about others more than myself, and then using these characteristics to become a great leader. I will use these traits to help those around me. When I am willing to do this I will be ensuring through my example, generations to come will likely have these same characteristics.

 While I help others, I also need to be willing to support those who ensure this country’s safety.  After all, these people are the reason I have a country to freely choose to help others in. I have a responsibility to support those who have, and will put their lives on the line around the world for freedom of this country. Our Military does this without hesitation to support the values America is built upon. These values being Democracy, and Freedom, making us a unique country in the world. The mere fact these brave Americans do not hesitate to die for these values, says to all people that these values must be very important, and are worth the risk of protecting. I have the responsibility to thank those who make it possible for me to say that I am proud to be an American. I also have the responsibility to defend those who are defending our country when they are criticized by others for their brave actions, both domestically and on foreign soil.

 These Americans in the military are defending the beliefs of our Founding Fathers. The reason we have this country is because of those men of old, such as George Washington and John Hancock, who believed America could be different from the world, and fought for it. It is our responsibility to carry out our Founding Fathers’ legacies. They promoted Freedom, Democracy, and the right to believe in what you wanted to, even if doing so put their lives at risk, and would start a revolutionary war. Their sacrifice is our motivation. I, like them, have a duty to promote Freedom and Democracy. Some people in the United States today are scared the values Americans have cherished for hundreds of years are slowly disappearing. It is as though our constitution doesn’t mean what it used to. I have a duty to make sure the constitution has not changed. I need to defend our rights and freedoms that the constitution guarantees for those who cannot defend their rights themselves, just as the Founding Fathers defended these rights for the future generations of Americans, including myself.

 As I defend the Founding Father’s ideologies, and the rights they envisioned, I am doing so for the future generations of Americans after me. I will defend these rights, even if that so means joining our military if asked to do so, to fight along with our brave servicemen and servicewomen. I also have a responsibility to pay attention to the state of the Union, and do what I can to point or continue America in the right direction. This means voting for who and what I believe will preserve our freedom and opportunities for future Americans. I have the duty to care for the well-being of our country, even if events happen in America that do not affect me.

 America is a great place, and is unlike anywhere else. But I, and every American, have the responsibility to defend our country and keep it that way. I have to defend our freedoms in an ever-decreasing world of values, for future Americans, just as the Founding Father defended those freedoms for me.  I have the duty to help others. I have the responsibility to give back what I have been given, and to help others be successful and to have multitudinous opportunities in their lives for success. I will and need to do this, even if it involves military service. I also have an obligation to support those who make sure we have this amazing country to live in.  I have these responsibilities to uphold, in hope of always being able to say, " I am proud to be an American.”