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The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 3182 and its auxiliary have announced Elias DeAndrea as winner of the high school Voice of Democracy speech contest.

DeAndrea is a homeschool high school senior who placed first with his speech “Is This the Country the Founders Envisioned?” He went on to place second at the Oregon state competition, receiving more than $2,000 in cash prizes.

More than 64,000 high school students compete each year in the VFW’s Voice of Democracy competition, with many state and national winners in the past coming from Coos County.

Junior high students also can compete by entering the VFW’s Patriot Pen essay contest.

Both competitions have a due date of Oct. 31.

For contest rules, visit The top prize is a trip to Washington, D.C., and a $30,000 scholarship.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars is the nation’s oldest major war veterans’ organization, established in 1899. In addition to youth activities and scholarships, it has enacted many programs and services geared to meet the current needs of America’s service members, veterans and military families. The VFW also helps with VA claims, legislative advocacy, troop support programs and community service.

VFW Post #3182 is looking for new members to help continue its local programs. If you are a veteran of a foreign war or a spouse or child of a veteran, please contact Loren or Sharon Wood by phone at 541-756-2969 or Kelly Templeton-Marsh by email at  


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