Since 1947, the Voice of Democracy has been the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ (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 an audio essay on an annual patriotic theme.

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 68th Annual Voice of Democracy Scholarship 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 competition.

The Voice of Democracy Program is a joint program with the Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Iowa. The Auxiliary does not need the permission of a Post to participate in the Voice of Democracy Program. Post and District Chairmen are expected to include their 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 dates.


 "My Vision for America"

Eligibility: Ninth (9th), Tenth (10th) , Eleventh (11th) and Twelfth (12th )grade students in public, private, parochial and home schools in the State of Iowa. 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 Auxiliary to participate.

Recording:  Recorded scripts must not be less than THREE (3) minutes nor longer than FIVE (5) minutes. 

A five (5) second variation is acceptable to compensate for the possible deviation in equipment. Scripts MUST be recorded on full size CD ONLY. Record all CD's on a single track.

Scripts must be recorded without music or background voice. Students must not use their names, the name or location of the sponsoring VFW unit, or the name or location of their school. Recordings must not include any introduction of the script. The only voice on the recording must be that of the student's.  Special consideration may be given for students that are speech challenged upon written request through District to Department. Scripts should be recorded using the best possible equipment available. Post and District Chairmen are responsible for the content and quality of the entry. Every effort should be made to submit the best quality entry possible.

 District judging may not be held before November 15, 2015 and must be completed in time to ensure that the winning entry with all required materials are in the hands of the  Department Chairman by December 8, 2015. District judging is the responsibility of the District Chairman to be conducted in accordance with the National Judging Criteria.

The Department deadline for District entries is December 8, 2015. This deadline is absolute. 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 Program booklet.