The VFW established the Voice of Democracy program (VOD) in 1947 to provide students grades 9-12 the opportunity to express themselves in regards to democratic ideas and principles. Applicants must write an essay answering the prompt and then record their reading of the draft to an audio CD or flash drive. The recording can be no shorter than three minutes and no longer than five minutes (plus or minus five seconds). Prizes and scholarships can be awarded at the Post, District, state and national level. The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient's American university, college or vocational/technical school. For more information or to apply, please visit the scholarship provider's website.