Gun Locks available for Veterans at Westmoreland County Courthouse

Westmoreland County Department of Veterans Affairs and the Veterans Administration (VA) are partnering to improve public safety in our communities by making gun locks available to veterans. Locks can be picked up at the 2nd floor office at the County Courthouse at 2 N Main Street, Greensburg, PA. No appointment is needed but supplies are limited; please call 724-830-3530 to confirm availability.

“All veterans have been trained extensively on firearm safety.  The same can’t be said of every member of a veteran’s household. This initiative provides a simple, cost free way to reduce the chance of a mishap,” said WCVA Director Matt Zamosky. 


New in 2019: The new year brings strict limitations on changing your Tricare plan

Thinking about switching between Tricare Prime and Tricare Select? You’ll have to wait until next November to do it, unless you have some sort of qualifying life event, such as the birth of a baby, a move to a new duty station, marriage or retirement. More...

Farm Show Mil/Vet Day, Moratorium on Caregivers Cuts, Jobs,Winter Fly Fishing, More

DMVA News
 
Veterans, Military & Their Families Day At The 2019 PA Farm Show Schedule:
Veterans, Military & Their Families Day is a day to honor those who have served and highlight their connection to agriculture and food systems. During the event, the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs’ Mobile Veterans Outreach Van will be present and staffed with Accredited Veteran Service Officers to provide information and assistance to veterans and family members who may be eligible for programs, benefits and services. For a full schedule of the day, visit website.
 
DMVA Helped Collect More Than A Ton Of Unused Medication In Westmoreland County In 2018:
More than one ton of medication was collected through drug take-back boxes placed throughout Westmoreland County over the past year. The boxes were acquired through a program funded by the Pennsylvania State District Attorneys Association. District Attorney John Peck’s office, members of the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the Pennsylvania Counter Drug Joint Task Force and local police departments partner in the ongoing public safety project. Read more.
 
DVMA's Gino J. Merli Veterans' Center In Scranton (Lackawanna County) Held Mass On Christmas:
Dozens of veterans celebrated Christmas morning together. Mass was held at DMVA's Gino J. Merli Veterans' Center (GMVC) in Scranton with Bishop Joseph Bambera. Veteran residents of GMVC, as well as some of their families, took part in the services in Scranton. See photos from the event here.
 
American Legion Donated Blankets To DMVA's Gino J. Merli Veterans' Center In Scranton:
The Ambrose Revels American Legion Post 328 in Archbald (Lackawanna County) donated 170 sherpa blankets to the residents at the Gino J. Merli Veterans’ Center. Read more.
 
DMVA Still Looking For 11 Photos Of Pennsylvania Veterans Who Paid Ultimate Sacrifice In Vietnam:
To further honor and preserve the memory of our veterans for future generations, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund in D.C. is leading an initiative to locate a photo for every U.S. service member who died during Vietnam. Please help find the remaining 11 photos from three Pennsylvania counties. For information on how to submit a photo, visit: Read more.
 
Holiday Celebrations At DMVA's Veterans' Homes:
Pennsylvania's Adjutant General and head of DMVA, Maj. Gen. Tony Carrelli and other members from the Pennsylvania National Guard visited with staff and residents in December at DMVA's six veterans' homes located throughout PA for their holiday celebrations. To see photos from the events, visit the Flickr page: Read more.
 
  Around the State
 
Apply For Rodale Institute’s Veteran Farmer Training Program In Kutztown, PA:
Receive hands-on, paid training in organic agriculture through the Veteran Farmer Training Program at Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania. Experience everything from vegetable production to livestock management while immersing yourself in life on an organic farm. Visit Read more.
 
Difference Maker – Stevenson, Keisel Continue Military Brotherhood Through VFW Color Guard:
Ed Stevenson and David Keisel are part of a military brotherhood that has continued long after their active military service ended. The two men, along with more than a dozen others, are active as the color guard of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2006 of Meadville (Crawford County). Read more.
 
Dylan Elchin's Death In Afghanistan Is Still Setting In For His Family In PA:
Ron Bogolea lived next door to his grandkids for years in rural Beaver County, surrounded by woods and farms, and he'd take Dylan Elchin and his brothers into the outdoors for hiking and other adventures. "When they'd get tired, you know, I'd push 'em and push 'em and push 'em," Bogolea said, and recalled Dylan. "And he had the ability to not complain, not whine, and to push harder, and harder." Read more.
 
Franklin County Veterans Affairs Continues To Pair Veterans With Service Dogs:
Franklin County Veterans Affairs is continuing to help veterans with their Operation Save-A-Vet, Save-A-Pet program. Veterans Affairs director Justin Slep recently presented Charlie Martin, a veteran who served during the Korean conflict, with a Chocolate Labrador Retriever. Watch video.
 
Holiday Meal Boxes Hand-Delivered To Veterans:
In the Poconos people were busy driving from one location to the next, but they weren't shopping for Christmas gifts. Instead, they were giving back to veterans. 140 holiday meal boxes were packed and ready to go, thanks to Valor Clinic Foundation in Jonas, PA (Monroe County). Read more.
 
Korean War Veterans Group Seeks New Members:
The Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA) is seeking new members. Anyone who served in Korea at anytime from Jan. 31, 1955, to present is invited to join. KWVA's mission is to honor those who served during that time and who are currently discharged from Korea. KWVA seeks to provide assistance to these veterans and their families, with all aid available to veterans, to thank them for their continued service, and to perpetuate the legacy of the Korean War. For further information, contact Gilbert E. Condor Sr., at 717-566-0735.
 
Lebanon VA Unaffected By Government Shutdown:
All Veterans Affairs operations, including the Lebanon VA Medical Center (Lebanon County), will continue despite the government shutdown, according to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Thanks to the leadership of President Trump and Congress, VA is fully funded for fiscal year 2019, and in the event of a partial government shutdown, all VA operations will continue unimpeded. Read more.
 
PA Correction Officers Serve Meal, Donate Clothes To Veterans:
Marine Corps veteran Doug Graybill spoke with leaders of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections about the troubles he faced during and after his tour in Vietnam. The leaders were so moved by Graybill that they wanted to give back to him, his wife Liz, and the veterans the couple work to help each day. Read more.
 
Shoemakersville Nonprofit Opens Toy Store For Veterans:
A veterans group in Shoemakersville (Berks County) delivered a merry Christmas to military families who are struggling. Those who served our country are not immune to falling on hard times and the holidays can amplify that pain. Read more.
 
This Hockey League Aims To Give Veterans A Temporary Reprieve:
Growing up in Johnstown (Cambria County), Air Force veteran Chad Reesey followed the Pittsburgh Penguins NHL team from afar. Despite being a longtime hockey lover, Reesey had never stepped onto the ice. That all changed after he lost a good friend to suicide. Read more.
 
Veteran's Ashes Returned To Family After Being Found In Dumpster:
Barbara Dixon made the three-hour drive to Pennsylvania to pick up her brother’s ashes. Ronald Lee Pruitt was a Navy veteran who died in Delaware in 1996. His ashes ended up at a VFW in Pennsylvania after construction worker Shane Hanna found them in a dumpster. "I realized this was an urn, so there’s no way I was leaving it in the dumpster," Hanna said. "Especially because it had a Navy Seal insignia on it." Read more.
 
  Across the Nation
 
'Every Day Is A Battle' – Portraits Of U.S. Veterans Capture Hidden Toll Of PTSD:
For Sgt Russell Carter, the first sign that something was wrong came when he was still serving in Afghanistan and the sound of friendly aircraft overhead sent him diving under a truck for cover. For Specialist Craig McNabb, his flashbacks took him to the days he was surrounded by death as an army military police officer, filling and stacking body bags at the World Trade Center after the 9/11 terror attack. Read more.
 
93-Year-Old Braves The Heat To Visit Wife's Grave Every Day:
Ninety-three-year-old Ted Richardson is a regular visitor to the Veteran's Cemetery in Honolulu, HI. Like clockwork, he shows up six days a week to visit the grave of his wife Florence who died five years ago. Read more.
 
NAMI Homefront Online!:
NAMI Homefront is a free, six-session program for family, friends and significant others of military service members and veterans. The class helps families understand what the service member or veteran is experiencing related to trauma, combat stress, civilian life transition, PTSD and other mental health conditions. The program is designed to help family members understand and support their service member/veteran while maintaining their own well-being. Register.
 
Registration Opens For 2019 National Veterans Wheelchair Games:
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that veterans interested in registering for the 2019 National Veterans Wheelchair Games can do so online, Jan. 7 through April 15, 2019. Presented by the VA and Paralyzed Veterans of America, the world’s largest sports event for veterans who use wheelchairs will be held July 11-16, 2019, at Robley Rex VA Medical Center in Louisville, KY. Read more.
 
Service After Death – Vet's Parents Find Comfort After Donating Son's Organs:
Before Andrew Koehle died of an accidental fentanyl overdose in 2017, he had plans. The Air Force veteran had just completed the training necessary to become eligible for a new job, and he was filling out applications. He was remodeling his home, and had just bought a stack of lumber to build new flower beds. Read more.
 
VA Announces Moratorium On Discharges And Decreases From Comprehensive Caregiver Program:
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it will temporarily suspend discharges and decreases in level of support from its Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers because of continued concerns expressed by veterans, caregivers and advocates about inconsistent application of eligibility requirements by VA medical centers. Read more.
 
VA Assists GI Bill Beneficiaries With Education Corporation Of America Closure:
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will assist GI Bill® students affected by the December closure of Education Corporation of America’s (ECA) approximately 70 campuses. VA is in the process of identifying GI Bill beneficiaries currently enrolled at ECA and informing them of follow-on options. Read more.
 
  Employment Opportunities
 
This listing is offered as a resource to both Pennsylvania's veterans and businesses that seek to employ veterans. The DMVA has not investigated the positions being offered or the businesses listed, and does not warrant or guarantee either the availability or the terms and conditions of the positions listed. Please contact the employers represented in this listing directly. To have an employment opportunity listed please email: RA-VA-Newsletter@pa.gov
 
Accenture Federal Services – Systems Analyst – Military Veterans:
Accenture is committed to providing veteran employment opportunities to service men and women. Accenture's federal business has served every cabinet-level department and 30 of the largest federal organizations. Accenture Federal Services transforms bold ideas into breakthrough outcomes for clients at defense, intelligence, public safety, civilian and military health organizations. Read more.
 
Bridgestone And Firestone Hiring:
Bridgestone and Firestone are hiring statewide. If you are a mechanical technician this is a great opportunity for you. Please contact Missy Stokes at 312-840-6175 or email mstokes@peoplescout.com or stokesmelissa@bfusa.com.
 
Cheran Inc. Hiring Electricians:
Cheran Inc. in Camp Hill (Cumberland County) wants to hire veterans for 10 full time electrician positions, and will train them. Please contact Kelly Gribble at 717-525-9461 for any questions, the job description and to apply.
 
Department Of Veterans Affairs Jumps Up In “Best Places To Work” Ranking:
A job caring for veterans. A career based on giving back. An opportunity to help millions of veterans get better, faster. The ability to earn competitive pay and unbeatable benefits. These are all great reasons to work at the U.S. Department of Veterans (VA). A 2018 survey ranks it sixth among the 17 largest federal agencies considered the Best Places to Work in the federal government. Read more.
 
Job Opportunities Available With Nestle Waters:
Nestle Waters is hiring three maintenance mechanics. As the nation’s leading bottled water company, Nestle Waters North America is dedicated to providing customers with healthy hydration options. Alongside that, Nestle is committed to developing employees by enabling them to make the most of the many elements that help them to succeed. Apply.
 
TSA Jobs Available Nationwide For Veterans:
Thousands of veterans just like you are finding the next stage of their career at Transportation Security Administration (TSA). In fact, with federal benefits, competitive wages and significant growth potential, there’s never been a better time to renew your commitment to service. To learn more visit the website, or call 1-877-872-7990 or TEXT TSO to 95495.
 
Utility Operator At Covanta Energy, Harrisburg (Dauphin County):
Covanta is a world leader in providing sustainable waste and energy solutions. Annually, Covanta’s modern energy-from-waste facilities safely convert approximately 20 million tons of waste from municipalities and businesses into clean, renewable electricity to power one million homes and recycle approximately 500,000 tons of metal. Apply via RecruitMilitary.
 
  Veteran Events
 
This listing is offered as a service to individuals and organizations to promote their veteran and military-oriented events being held in Pennsylvania. The information is taken directly from emailed submissions from requestors. DMVA is not responsible for incorrect information submitted. Please send details on events to RA-VA-Newsletter@pa.gov and include the following key pieces of information: 1. Name of event, 2. Date of event, 3. Time of event, 4. Address of event, 5. County of event, 6. Event website, 7. Point of contact name, 8. POC phone number, 9. POC email address, and 10. Additional details/coordinating instructions (fees, pre-registration, etc.)
 
Central PA WWII Roundtable Upcoming Speaker – Dr. Beverley Driver Eddy:
- Jan. 3, 2019, 7 p.m.
- Grace United Methodist Church, 433 E. Main St., Hummelstown, PA (Dauphin County)
- Point of contact: Charlie Lloyd at 717-503-2862 or email Charlie.centralpaww2rt@gmail.com
- Dr. Beverley Driver Eddy, author and professor, will make a presentation about Camp Sharpe, and the group of men named, "Psycho Boys" for their expertise in psychological warfare. The Central Pennsylvania WWII Roundtable is a non-profit organization that provides a forum for WWII veterans, authors, historians, and citizens to share their knowledge and experiences related to the war. There are no membership or admission fees.
- Read more.
 
Veterans, Military & Their Families Day At The 2019 PA Farm Show:
- Jan. 10, 2019, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
- PA Farm Show Complex, 2300 N. Cameron St., Harrisburg, PA (Dauphin County)
- Point of contact: 717-787-2905
- Veterans, Military & Their Families Day: Farmers are the 2 percent of our nation that feeds us. Veterans are the 2 percent that protects us. On Thursday, Jan. 10, those who feed, those who serve, and those who do both will be honored. It’s always a good day to recognize those who dedicate their lives for our freedom.
- Website.
 
MilitaryShare Fresh Express Program:
- Jan. 11, 2019
- Fort Indiantown Gap - USO - Bldg. 13-190, Annville, PA (Lebanon County)
- Point of contact: Roxie Norris at 717-861-6299 or email Roxanne.b.norris.ctr@mail.mil to pre-register.
- Pre-register by Jan. 3, 2019. Registration is required for MilitaryShare distribution. MilitaryShare, a collaborative program of local food banks and the Pennsylvania National Guard, is designed to provide fresh, nutritious foods for veterans and military families in need.
- Website.
 
Winter Fly Fishing Program:
- Saturdays, Jan. 12, 19, 26, Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23 and March 2 and 9, 2019, 1-3:15 p.m.
- South Hills School of Business & Technology, 480 Waupelani Dr., State College, PA (Centre County)
- Point of contact: email Dan Kerstetter at paflyfisher777@gmail.com or Jim Lanning at jlanningvsp@gmail.com to register.
- This program will include an introduction to all the aspects of fly fishing. All equipment and supplies will be provided for the beginners. Classes are open to all who are interested.
- Facebook event.
 

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