Matthew Reep VFW

Pictured from left are Post 4286 Quartermaster Bill Dean, Matthew Reep, Commander Kevin Holden and Auxiliary Secretary Cindy Dean.

Recent Avery High graduate Matthew Reep was awarded first place in both the county and district level divisions of the Voice of Democracy patriotic essay competition, sponsored by Newland Post 4286 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Reep’s essay was forwarded to state competition and his family was invited to the annual state VFW banquet in February.

Reep was awarded $100 by Post 4286, a $1,000 scholarship from the state, and a plaque from North Carolina District 15. He is the son of David and Claudette Reep of Jonas Ridge and will be enrolling in Appalachian State University this Fall.

The Voice of Democracy competition is an annual program for students in grades 9 through 12. Students in public or private schools, and home-schooled students are eligible to enter. Entries consist of an audio essay written about an assigned topic, which is recorded and submitted on an audio CD or flash drive. The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship.

The essay topic for 2020-2021 is “Is this the country the founders envisioned?” Parents can email Post Commander Kevin Holden at for more information and entry forms. The deadline for submission to Post 4286 is October 31.

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