Voice of Democracy (VOD) is an annual audio-essay competition for high school students in the United States, organized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) organization. The competition is open to students in grades 9-12, and the theme for the essay changes each year. Students are asked to write and record a three-to-five-minute essay on the theme, which is judged on originality, content, and delivery.
The first-place winner at the national level receives a $30,000 scholarship and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where they will participate in the VFW's National Leadership Conference. Other prizes are also awarded at the national and state levels. The VOD competition is one of several educational programs run by the VFW, which also includes the Patriot's Pen essay competition for middle school students, and the Teacher of the Year award. The Voice of Democracy program is funded by the VFW and its Auxiliary, as well as by donations from the public and corporate sponsors.