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Zieman wins State Voice of Democracy competition

Kallie Zieman (middle) won the State Voice of Democracy competition and will advance to nationals in March. Those present to award Zieman’s honor included (left to right) Robert Friesen, VFW Voice of Democracy District 5 chairperson; Brian Gislason, VFW 5th District commander; Governor Mark Dayton; and Paige Amundson, VFW 5th District auxiliary president. (Contributed)

Kallie Zieman, the daughter of Bryce and Julia Zieman of Alexandria, won the State Voice of Democracy (VOD) competition and will advance to the national competition in March.

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Zieman, a senior at Jefferson High School in Alexandria, is the Alexandria VFW Post and VFW District 5 VOD champion.

At the VFW State Midwinter Conference held in Minneapolis January 24-27, Zieman competed with eight other state finalists for the State VOD title.

More than 500 state and national VFW members, Women’s Auxiliary members and Governor Mark Dayton were in attendance at the state banquet at the Marriott.

With the announcement of Zieman earning the State VOD title, she presented her speech, “Why I Am Optimistic about Our Nation’s Future,” at the banquet.

Zieman was awarded a cash prize, an all-expense paid trip to the national finals in Washington, D.C. in March and leadership training at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in June.

As a competitor in the National VOD competition, she will compete for a $30,000 scholarship, and she will meet with national leaders.

The event and competition will be streamed live on the VFW website at This is the first time in 30 years that the Alexandria VFW Post and District 5 VFW has had a state champion and national qualifier.

The VOD program, established in 1947, is open to students in grades 9-12 who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the U.S. and its territories. Each year, nearly 40,000 students enter.