Veterans Day Essay Contest







All members of the United States Military, past and present, share in a rich heritage of service, sacrifice, and impact. Their acts of courage in support of our nation are an exemplar of commitment, a source of inspiration to many, and a symbol of pride to all.

The Lancaster County GOP invites Lancaster County high school students in grades 10 through 12 to search out those sources of inspiration, pride, and impact, as personified by our men and women in uniform, and enter the Veteran’s Day 2016 Essay Contest.


Using a friend or family member who has served in the United States Military as a starting point, discuss the impact this service member has had on you and/or your community. Also, reflect on the importance of the military to defense of the Constitution of the United States of America.


Write an original and creative essay of 1,000 words or less on the topic above. Students should use varied sources such as newspaper articles, books, and/or personal interviews, including at least two non-Internet sources.


The winner of the essay contest receives a Scholarship, up to $1,000 scholarship to the educational institution of the winner’s choosing. The winner is invited to accept the award and read or summarize the essay at the LCGOP Veteran’s Day Pancake Breakfast at the Wyuka Stables at 8:00am on Saturday, November 5, 2016.  

The essay contest is sponsored by the Lancaster County Republican Party and generously supported by private members of the community.


Essays can be dropped off or mailed to:

Veterans Day Essay Contest


1610 N St.

Lincoln, NE 68508

Or electronically transmitted to: [email protected]  Essays must be dropped off or submitted electronically by 5:00 p.m. on Friday October 21st, 2016 or postmarked by October 20th, 2016 with the winner being alerted before the Veterans Day Pancake Breakfast on November 5th.  


The contest is open to Lancaster County, Nebraska high school students in grades 10 through 12, attending public, private, parochial, or home schools; including Lancaster County students under the age of 20 enrolled in a high school correspondence/GED program or studying overseas.


  • Essays can be no more than 1,000 words.

  • Citations and bibliography are not included in the word count.

  • Essays must be the original work of the student.

  • References should be cited parenthetically throughout the essay and should be included in a bibliography. Accepted formats include APA and MLA. You must use a minimum of two sources in addition to a personal interview.


Content (55%)

Demonstrated understanding of the topic

  • Identified a United States Service member and his or her service in the United States military past or present, as well as the importance of that service.

  • Explained how the service member impacted the writer and the service member’s community at the local, state, or national level elected official risked his or her career to address an issue at the local, state, national, or international level.

  • Explained why the military member’s actions or attitude best serves or has served the United States.


  • Thoughtful, original choice of a U.S. military service member.

  • Story is not widely known, or a well-known story is portrayed in a unique way.

Source Material

  • Bibliography of required sources.

  • Thoughtfully selected, reliable references used.

Presentation (45%)

Quality of writing

  • Style, clarity, flow, vocabulary

  • Structure, paragraphing, introduction and conclusion

  • Syntax, grammar, spelling, and punctuation

An essay will be disqualified if:

  • It is not on the topic.

  • The subject is not or has not been a member of the United States Military.

  • It is postmarked or submitted in person after the deadline.

  • It is not the student’s original work.


Stories about United States service members and the impact they have on students and the community offers an opportunity for students to connect with concepts of commitment, service, community pride, and citizenship. It also gives students an opportunity to evaluate and analyze the reasons family members or friends serve, the many ways in which they serve, and the impact that service can have on an individual life and community in addition to the nation as a whole.

Teachers play an essential role in the essay contest. Charged with instructing students in writing, research, and critical thinking skills, teachers are asked to proofread students’ essays, to make suggestions for improvement, and ensure that the essays meet the contest criteria. The winner and his or her teacher, along with the winner’s family, will be invited to attend the Veteran’s Day Pancake Breakfast award ceremony.

Teachers are invited to use the contest as a class project and submit the essays of an entire class.

Teachers are also encouraged to submit feedback to help improve the contest for next year.


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