More than 70 years the Veterans of Foreign Wars has been encouraging patriotism within our nation’s classrooms, but time is running out for this year’s annual student scholarship award competitions.

Students only have until October 31 to submit their entries and nominations for the popular Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen youth scholarships.

As one of the top student patriotic essay competitions in the nation, high school students compete for their chance to win a $30,000 college scholarship. This year’s participants are faced with the challenging theme, “Why My Vote Matters.”

The opportunity for sixth through eighth-grade students to win a slice of more than $54,000 in Patriot’s Pen national awards, this year’s students must answer “Why I Honor the American Flag.”

Claremore’s Joe Ronnie Hooper Memorial VFW is accepting the entries until 5 p.m. October 31. All entries must be turned in at the post, 1717 West DuPont Avenue, the applications and instructions are available on the Post’s website at www.ClaremoreVFW.org, as well as the national VFW website at www.VFW.org. “We would love to have one of our local students be the national winner,” said Commander Bill Richey. “Don’t forget that home schoolers are also invited to enter, we have had winners from this group in the past.”