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By Michael P. Mauer

Four West Mifflin students each received top honors from All-American Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 914 Intrepid West Mifflin for this year’s Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen contests.

VFW 2017 School Awards
VFW makes awards to students

The winners were accepted from more than three dozen entries that gave the local scholars a chance to earn some of the $2 million in national educational incentives awarded annually through the VFW.

Earning the nod for this year’s VOD competition are Reagan Rubright, Kada Jackel, and Dylan Ruffing from West Mifflin Area High School. Nicholas Kosuda from the West Mifflin Area Middle School was awarded the top slot for the post’s Patriot’s Pen scholarship.

“We are again very pleased with the high participation and quality of essays we’ve received from students this year,” said Post Commander Jake Bradich, an Army Iraq War veteran and VFW life member. “Over the last several years, there’s been an enormous amount of support from the school district staff. The veterans here are proud that youngsters in our community are eager to get involved.”

The three VOD winners each received a $100 award from VFW Post 914 Intrepid West Mifflin at the organization’s Nov. 30 meeting at the Thompson Run Athletic Association, as well as a VFW medal. A $100 check and a VFW medal was also presented to the post’s Patriot's Pen winner.

The topic for this year’s VOD essay competition was ‘American History: Our Hope for the Future.’ Competitors for the Patriot’s Pen contest wrote to the theme of ‘America’s Gift to My Generation.’

All of the VOD candidates will move to the next bracket of competition, to be held at Pittsburgh’s VFW District 29. If forwarded from there, entrants will earn a chance to compete at the VFW Department of Pennsylvania. After that, winners will then vie at the national level where the top laurels include a $30,000 scholarship.

For more information about VFW Post 914 and its activities, visit the group’s website at:, or contact Commander Bradich at 412-464-9838.

Photo at right: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 914 Intrepid West Mifflin Commander Jake Bradich gave recognition medals and $100 each to local winners of the annual Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen contests at the post’s monthly meeting Nov. 30 at the Thompson Run Athletic Association. Pictured also are scholarship awardees Reagan Rubright, Kada Jackel, Nicholas Kosuda and Dylan Ruffing.


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