Students in ninth through 12th grades can complete for thousands of dollars in scholarships and a trip to Washington, D.C., in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 1833's annual Voice of Democracy essay contest.

Students in ninth through 12th grades can complete for thousands of dollars in scholarships and a trip to Washington, D.C., in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 1833's annual Voice of Democracy essay contest.

Students write, then record a three- to five-minute audio essay expressing their views of this year's patriotic theme, "My Role in Honoring America's Veterans." Deadline is Nov. 1.

Students compete at local, district, state and national levels. All state winners receive a $1,000 national scholarship and compete for a $30,000 first-place award. The state winner also receives a four-day tour of Washington, D.C.

A total of $146,000 in scholarships is awarded to national finalists in addition to the scholarships and awards given at the preliminary levels of competition.

Homeschooled and private school students also are eligible.

During the 60 years the VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary have been doing Voice of Democracy, more than 7 million high school students have participated.

Interested students and teachers should contact the Voice of Democracy chairman and Post 1833 Cmdr. James Hanley at 773-2938 or 840-1301, write to the post at 40 N. Front St., Medford, OR 97501, or send an e-mail to vfwmedford@juno.com. They can also contact Ladies Auxiliary President Ruth Studer at 261-0870.