Thursday, 02 July 2015 17:35

Freedom's Challenge: Barbara (Houndt-Beach)

  • (Download!)

Happy 4th of July A Time to Think about Freedom!

Happy 4th of July A Time to Think about Freedom!

Each year, high school students from across the country enter to win a share of the $2.2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the VFW’s Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition.


The VFW established the Voice of Democracy program (VOD) in 1947 to provide students grades 9-12 the opportunity to express themselves in regards to democratic ideas and principles.

The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. Other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000, and the first-place winner from each (state) VFW Department wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.The 2014-15 theme was  "Why Veterans are Important to our Nation's History and Future." 
YOU TOO CAN WIN $30,000!
WHO CAN ENTERThe Voice of Democracy Program is open to students in grades 9-12 (on the Nov. 1 deadline), who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States and its territories. 
The 2015-16 theme is: 
My Vision for America
Entries begin at the Post level. Once the student creates their essay and completes burning the audio version to an audio CD/flash drive, they can submit their typed version, CD/flash drive and the Voice of Democracy entry form to their local participating VFW Post by the November 1 deadline.  

Click the VFW logo to access the Voice of Democracy 2015-16 entry form and brochure.

It was the late 1960's and the VFW Voice of Democracy competition that year asked students to talk about : Freedom's Challenge. Then a high school sophomore, Barbara Houndt responded with what was to become her winning essay. Barbara (Houndt-Beach),now the Executive Producer for the Military Appreciation Channel and Volunteer with The Patriot's Voice Foundation recently found a tape recording of  her (much) younger self reading her essay. "Listening to my thoughts about defending our military and also my realization even then that 'freedom came easy to me...I was born' makes me realize where the core of my patriotism began....I have my parents to thank for that!"
If you click the above 'MP-3'  (created from a reel to reel tape found in an attic) you can hear in(then) a barely teenage voice the Freedom's Challenge Speech...made even more significant as we all celebrate our Nation's Birthday 
Copyright © 2015, Military Appreciation Challen

Login to RAB

Login to listen to all your favorite Radioactive programs for free.