Patriot's Pen Winner Announced

Charles Rittenburg - 1/29/2021

Montpelier, VT - Each year more than 138,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest for a chance to win their share of more than $900,000 in state and national awards. Each first place state winner receives a minimum of $500 at the national level, and the national first place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300 to 400 word essay, and expressing their views on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief. This years theme was "What is Patriotism to me?"

The Department of Vermont has announced that they have selected Ben Hourdequin, a 7th grader from Richmond Middle School in Hanover NH as their representative for the national competition. Ben, who was sponsored by White River Post 2751 in White River Junction, is interested in running, skiing, math and writing. Ben has just finished hiking all of the 48 mountains in New Hampshire that are over 4,000 ft. showing his grit and determination. We all wish Ben the best of luck as he travels to Washington, DC to represent the department of Vermont as he competes for the first prize award of $5,000.

Click here to see the District Patriot's Pen winners and their bios.

If you haven't heard his essay yet watch the video below:



Effective Monday, March 23rd, 2020 the VFW Service Office will be closed until further notice.

I will be working from home and will have access to email on a daily basis.  

Email is the only form of communication that will be available.  

My email address is as follows:

I can send and receive documents electronically but will not be able to send or receive faxes

I will be electronically submitting and tracking claims for our offices’ s constituents.  

If a veteran has documents or claims to file and cannot do so electronically with me then there are ways for a veteran to submit in their own as follows:



Fax claims and or supporting documents to 844-531-7818

Please itemize your documents being faxed on a cover sheet and wait for a return receipt via fax with a confirmation number on it.



Send claims and or supporting documents as follows:

Department of Veterans Affairs
Evidence Intake Center
PO Box 4444
Janesville, WI  53547


Ebenefits: ebenefits/homepage  

I will attempt to call in a retrieve messages.   It is requested that no veteran leave a voice message as I will not be returning calls from my home or cell phone.   But if a message is left, please spell out clearly and slowly the email address in which to connect with you.

It is unknown how long this will last and I will keep the Dept well informed as I learn about a return date in the future.

I will attempt to come into the office weekly to retrieve postal mail and voice messages.

During this time veterans are encouraged to take control of their claims and submit on their own as much as possible.      

Thank you all for your understanding and please stay healthy and safe as the COVID-19 issue passes through our communities.


Joe LaPerle
VFW Service Officer