VFW Post 3404 in the Community
VFW Post 3404 is very involved in our community. From scholarship
programs like Patriots Pen, Voice of Democracy, Scout of the year, and
Teacher of the year, to Flag Education and our Buddy Poppy program,
inspired by the poem "In Flander's Field," the VFW continues its
members' desires to serve America. For more information, visit the
VFW Community site.
VFW believes strongly in good citizenship and fostering patriotism.
That’s why we encourage youthful minds to examine our nation’s history
and their own experiences in modern American society through our
Patriot’s Pen youth essay-writing contest.
Annually, roughly 124,000, students from grades 6-8, enter to win one
of several savings bonds totaling $1.1 million, as well as an
all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the National first place
Students draft a 300-400 word essay, expressing their views based on an
— always patriotic — annual theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief.
PATRIOT PEN WINNING ESSAY
What Does Patriotism Look Like?
By Trevor Moore
Looking down the immense mountain, the soldiers could not see the dark
red Iwo Jima water and the thousands of American causalities through the
cascading downpour. Hardened expressions on their determined faces
epitomized American patriotism. Bloody and exhausted, the soldiers
peered around in anguish for the battle had not yet been won, but they
knew their initiative. The battle would continue until our star spangled
banner was hoisted over Mount Suribachi declaring victory, and that it
did after four extended days of battle.
This contribution to American history was one of many victories that
allow our nation to thrive. Without the combined service of so many
willing veterans, many of the everyday things we take for granted would
be no more.
Patriotism is defined by love, devotion, and service to one's country.
How can we as united American citizens be patriotic? I think patriotism
can be expressed in many ways. Voting for the candidate who is
determined to fight socialism and liberate our poor is today's
front-line soldier. The community servant who works long hours
organizing a food bank for the less fortunate is today's patriot. The
young scholar who studies with bloodshot, drooping eyes through the long
night hours is both today's patriot and tomorrow's hero. Those long
hours will lead to both a personal financial payoff and a stronger
economy for us all.
All of these things are so often overlooked and not appreciated. Most
people think of patriotism as U.S. troops overseas risking their lives
day in and day out, but patriotism is much more complex. Patriotism is a
man whose beet-red face is pouring down sweat, as he continues to work
to support his wife and son back home. Patriotism is the young girl who
stands up and sings the Star Spangled Banner pouring her heart and soul
into it no matter what the other students think. These patriots do these
actions undeniably because they are devoted to, and love their country.
When we say the Pledge of Allegiance, established by Francis Bellamy
over 100 years ago, we are not pledging to a flag, we are pledging to
the people who sacrifice time for family. We are pledging to the faith
and the courage of men and women who risk their lives to keep us "One
Nation under God."
Note: Trevor Moore, an 8th grade student at Reed Academy, won first
prize in Post 3404 Patriot's Pen essay contest. Congratulations to
Buddy Poppy Information