The Veterans of Foreign Wars Ashland Post 353 has awarded prizes to Ashland Middle School entries in a national patriotic essay competition called "Patriots Pen." Sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students were eligible to participate.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Ashland Post 353 has awarded prizes to Ashland Middle School entries in a national patriotic essay competition called "Patriots Pen." Sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students were eligible to participate.

First prize went to Chris Bowland, who won a backpack and a $30 movie pass.

Georgia E. Williams was awarded second prize and Nora Catrin Honeycutt won third. Both won backpacks for their efforts.

Bowland's first-place essay has been referred to the VFW state level.

The winning essay at the state level contest will be sent to the national headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. There are 45 U.S. bond winners in the national competition with the top essayist receiving a $10,000 savings bond and an all expense paid trip to Washington D.C.

A parent or guardian will accompany the winner, with all expenses paid. No national winner will receive less than a $1,000 savings bond.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals has approved this competition.

There were more than 120,000 students entered in last year's contest.