Veterans Essay Scholarship Contest 2024

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 Republican Party 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 Veterans Essay Scholarship Contest 2024. 


Using a friend or family member who has served in the United States Military as a starting point. Interview the service member or close friend or family member and 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 personal interviews, newspaper and magazine articles, books, internet research, etc.  Students must include at least one non-Internet source in addition to a personal interview. 


The winner or winners of the essay contest will each receive a $500 to $1,000 scholarship to the educational institution of the winner’s choosing. The winner and the winner’s family and teacher are invited to the award ceremony and the winner is invited to  read or summarize the essay as part of that ceremony at time TBA.  

The  Scholarship:

The Veterans Essay Scholarship Contest winner will receive a scholarship in honor of a named service member who serves or served his or her country in the armed forces and had a significant impact on his family and community. 

The essay contest is sponsored by the LCRP (Lancaster County Republican Party) and generously supported by private donors.

Submission Guidelines:

Essays can be mailed to:

Veterans Essay Scholarship Contest


1610 N St.

Lincoln, NE 68508

OR emailed to: [email protected]

Essays must be submitted electronically or postmarked by midnight on (TBA) and must contain the completed entry form which can be found at the link below.  Please download and print the Veterans Scholarship Entry Form, fill it out, and mail it with your essay, or if you are submitting electronically please take a picture of it and attach it to your essay when you are ready to submit.     



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. Members of the Lancaster County Republican Party Executive Committee and members of their families are not eligible to participate. 


  • Essays must be original and contain no more than 1,000 words, with a word count included at the end of the essay. 
  • Citations and bibliography should be included in the essay but are not included in the word count. 
  • Essays must be the original work of the student but may be proofread and suggestions for edits made by the student’s teacher.
  • 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 and interviewed (if living) 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 narrative about  a U.S. military service member and analysis of the topic.
  • 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 individual being discussed is not or has not been a member of the United States Military. 
  • It is postmarked or submitted after the deadline. 
  • It is not the student’s original work. (plagiarized, or content derived from AI) 
  • It exceeds 1,000 words


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, sacrifice, 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 guidelines. The winner and teacher, along with the winner’s family, will be invited to attend the Scholarship award ceremony at a time TBA.

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

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