HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Hillsborough Memorial VFW Post # 8371 Commander Tom Cellilli and Post Adjutant Mike Schraufnagel visited Hillsborough Middle School earlier this week to honor the local winners of the 2019/2020 Patriots Pen competition.

The top three finishers, all students at Hillsborough Middle School, are Jesse Trujillo, 1st place, Riddhima Medatwal, 2nd place and Taru Sankar, 3rd place. They were presented Certificates of Merit and scholarship checks.

The VFW is dedicated to promoting patriotism and investing in future generations. The Patriots Pen competition is for students in grades 6-8. The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by writing a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW National Commander-in-Chief.

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Each year more than 110,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the Patriots Pen essay contest. This year’s theme was "What Makes America Great?"

Locally, Patriot Pen entries were received from students attending Branchburg, Hillsborough and Montgomery Middle Schools, according to Cellilli.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is the nation's largest and oldest major war veterans’ organization. Founded in 1899 and chartered by Congress in 1936, the VFW is comprised entirely of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, Guard and Reserve forces.

With nearly 1.7 million VFW and Auxiliary members located in nearly 6,400 Posts worldwide, the nonprofit veterans’ service organization is proud to proclaim “NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS” than the VFW, which is dedicated to veterans’ service, legislative advocacy, and military and community service programs.

For more information or to join, visit the website at www.vfw.org.