Most people expect that Veterans of Foreign Wars would help other veterans, but they probably don’t know that the VFW also believes strongly in fostering patriotism among America’s youth. One way they support good citizenship is encouraging youth to examine our nation’s history through the Patriot’s Pen youth essay-writing contest and the Voice of Democracy scholarship program.
VFW Post 2238 Commander Jim Maziarz credits the chairman of the Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen, Chester Mullins, with the number of local submissions on the middle and high school level because Maziarz says Mullins spent many hours at area schools introducing the program to receptive schools such as Calvary, Captain Shreve, and Caddo Middle Magnet. Mullins also collected and reviewed essays, which included listening to oral presentations of CDs for VOD’s patriotic audio essays.
VOD prizes and scholarships are awarded at the local, district, state and national level. State winners will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., March 1-5, 2014, to tour the city, be honored by the VFW and Ladies Auxiliary and receive their portion of $152,000 in national awards. The top scholarship is $30,000.
The Patriot’s Pen winner and a parent or guardian also gets an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. and a chance at the top prize of $5,000. This competition is open to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders, including home-schooled students. This year’s theme is “What Patriotism means to me”.
VFW Post 2238 meets every second Tuesday of the month at 1245 Gary St. in Shreveport at 6:30 p.m., and they welcome new members. Interested persons can call Commander Maziarz at 318-349-8889.
Operation Support Our Troops Needs Donations
Operation Support Our Troops, Inc. has made donations to deployed and wounded U.S. military members simple and easy. Donors can drop items by area businesses, and the collected items will be packed and shipped.
Tax-deductible monetary support is also needed to pay the shipping cost of $1.45 a pound for the 25- to 35-pounds boxes. Checks should be made out to OSOT, Inc. and mailed to Shirley Olivieri-Mathies, OSOT Project Chairman, 243 Justin Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71105 or call her at (318) 349-9043.
Drop off locations: American Climate-Controlled Storage at 6721 Pines Rd., St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church at 522 E. Flournoy-Lucas Rd., or any UPS Store in Shreveport or Bossier City.
Needed items include: foil packed Tuna, instant hot chocolate / coffee, instant oatmeal, Gatorade / Crystal Lite drink mix, gum and hard candy, sunflower seeds, toothbrushes / toothpaste, Neosporin / Band-Aids, Gold Bond / athletes foot powder, fly swatters, and toilet paper.
For more information, go to www.OSOTinc.org.