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The original item was published from 1/3/2018 1:31:55 PM to 3/1/2018 12:30:01 AM.

News Flash

Veteran's Affairs

Posted on: January 4, 2018

[ARCHIVED] DMVA News, January 3, 2018

 DMVA News

DMVA'S Gino J. Merli Veterans' Center, Scranton, Holding Open House:

DMVA's Gino J. Merli Veterans' Center will hold an open house on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, from 1-4 p.m. in Scranton, PA (Lackawanna County). Attendees can take a tour, meet the staff, enjoy refreshments, participate in activities, experience the comradery of fellow veterans and learn about the admissions process. For more information, contact the admissions office at 570-961-4348 or visit website.

Veterans’ Trust Fund Grant Opportunities:

Governor Tom Wolf announced that the 2017-18 Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF) is accepting grant applications for programs and services benefiting Pennsylvania veterans. The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs will award up to $800,000 in VTF grants to non-profit organizations, veteran service organizations and county directors of veteran affairs across the state. Grant applications must be received no later than 3 p.m. on Jan. 19, 2018. Read more.

Join DMVA For Veterans, Military and Their Families Day As Part Of The 102nd Pennsylvania Farm Show:

DMVA is partnering with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture again to host Veterans, Military and Their Families Day on Thursday Jan. 11, 2018, as part of the 102nd Pennsylvania Farm Show. The day will begin with an opening ceremony on the Lancaster Farming Stage at 9 a.m. in the Expo Hall. The ceremony will include patriotic music, a ceremonial color guard, and featured speaker Greg Stegall, who runs the MilitaryShare program at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. Read more.

Pennsylvania Offers Its Veterans Six Extended Care Facilities Throughout The State:

You served us, now let us serve you! DMVA operates six long-term care facilities open to veterans and their eligible spouses. Our homes offer personal and skilled nursing care in a safe, secure and caring environment. Learn more today. Read more.

Veteran Gives Back To Local Veterans With Big Donation:

A local veteran is giving back to other veterans with something to keep them warm this winter. Robert Bailey dropped off more than 1,200 pairs of socks to DMVA's Hollidaysburg Veterans' Home in Blair County. Read more.

Pennsylvania National Guard Helped To Shovel Out Erie County:

21 members of the Pennsylvania National Guard were activated in northwestern Pennsylvania in response to the winter storm in Erie County that dumped over five feet of snow. "Our National Guard members are trained to assist the citizens of our commonwealth during severe winter storms like Erie is experiencing right now," said Gov. Tom Wolf. Read more.

Pennsylvania National Guard Helps Bring Joy:

Thanks to volunteer Pennsylvania state employees and Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers and airmen, joy was spread to needy families and older adults as identified by social workers. Read more.

Veteran Turns 100 In Scranton:

A member of the greatest generation celebrated a big milestone. Edgena Jones of Scranton turned 100 years old recently. The World War II veteran was joined by family and friends for a birthday party at DMVA's Gino J. Merli Veterans' Center in Scranton
(Lackawanna County). Read more.

 Around the State

CHS Teacher Kevin Wagner Launches Effort To Recognize Alumni Who Served In Vietnam:

There is something missing from the pages of Carlisle High School yearbooks. History teacher Kevin Wagner noticed it while researching the years 1960 to 1975. “There’s not one mention of the Vietnam War,” said Wagner. “No memorial or recognition. Nothing on a single page. It was like it almost didn’t happen.” Read more.

Nonprofit Gears Up To Build Tiny Homes For Veterans In Penn Hills In 2018:

Marlon Ferguson acknowledges he was late in learning about the tiny home craze sweeping cities such as Seattle, Dallas, Detroit and Portland over the past several years. The executive director of Veterans Place of Washington Boulevard of Pittsburgh (Allegheny County) is eager to use the minimalist living trend to help struggling veterans find permanent housing. Read more.

PA Veteran Receives Medals 66 Years After Service As Marine:

Sixty-six years ago, Earl Swartz, a Marine Corps reservist from Reading (Berks County) was called to active duty during the Korean War. He returned to Pennsylvania by train from the west coast, where a troublesome appendix kept him from going overseas. Read more.

Service Dog Becomes Angel To Veteran:

Johnny Gouge of Waynesboro, PA (Franklin County) was a recluse, not by choice, but by virtue of the physical and emotional conditions he has as a disabled veteran. Once Skylar came into his life everything changed. The 2-year-old yellow Lab has become a service dog and more to the Army veteran. “She’s my angel,” Gouge said after recently signing the official papers with the Franklin County Veterans Affairs Operation Save-a-Vet Save-a-Pet program. Read more.

WES Corporation Gets $1 Million State Grant For Project:

State Rep. Stephen Kinsey announced a $1 million grant from the state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program will go to the WES Corporation. Kinsey said the WES Corporation will use the funding to develop a state-of-the-art medical facility and business service hub. The building will be used to house mental health programs including outpatient behavioral health, targeted case management and substance abuse programs serving youth located in the Logan section of upper North Philadelphia. Read more.

WWII-Era Vessel Gets Some TLC From Pennsylvania Farmers:

Rus Davies and Greg Clark have never served in the military, but each has taken a turn piloting a 3,000-ton retired Navy landing vessel.Read more.

 Across the Nation

‘Operation Deep Dive’ To Examine Veteran Suicide Causes And Factors:

America’s Warrior Partnership, University of Alabama researchers and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation have partnered on a four-year research study that will examine the factors and potential causes involved in suicides and early mortality due to self-harm among military veterans. "Operation Deep Dive” will use unique methodologies that have never before been applied to the research of veteran suicides. Read more.

A Free Online Program For Veterans Concerned About Their Drinking:

VetChange is a free, confidential online program to help veterans take control of their drinking and learn to manage PTSD symptoms without using alcohol, build skills to better manage drinking, tackle anger, stress and sleep problems and other challenges many veterans face after deployment. Read more.

Charleston VA Angel Tree Makes Holidays Merrier For Low-Income Families:

Cathy Adkins, spouse of U.S. Army veteran Thomas Adkins, Sr., wiped tears from her eyes as she marveled at the two boxes overflowing with gifts for her children. “I can’t even tell you how much of a blessing this is to our family,” she said. “When you’re surviving off one small check per month, everything is stretched. Read more.

Communities Around The Country Are Doing Their Part To Make Sure No Veteran Has To Sleep On The Streets:

A recent report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimated that approximately 40,000 veterans are currently homeless. To combat homelessness, individuals all over the United States are finding unique, grassroots solutions to secure housing for the veterans in their communities. In New Jersey, home to nearly 600 homeless veterans, the American Legion Post 107 of Hoboken is holding auctions and selling tickets to raise funds for a new housing complex. Read more.

Facebook Cybersecurity University:

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is highlighting a unique program being offered to the veteran community. Facebook recently announced the launch of Facebook Cybersecurity University for veterans. Through the course, students will gain hands-on, real-world cybersecurity skills. The program is hosted onsite at Facebook HQ in Menlo Park, CA and starts on Feb. 3, 2018, hosted every Saturday for 12 weeks. Website.

Focus Groups Can Change The Way Health Care Is Delivered To Women Veterans:

20 women veterans gathered in small groups to discuss their experiences with transition from military to civilian life and their knowledge and perceptions of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, particularly health care. From their stories, we learned that many were unaware of the health care benefits VA offers. Read more.

Food Donations Keep Veterans Healthy:

Too many veterans are unable to obtain or prepare regular, nutritious meals. Through a new Food Donation program, Veterans Affairs Black Hills Health Care System in Meade County, SD is doing its part to improve access to high quality protein foods by taking unused food and distributing it to veterans in the community. Read more.

Here Is What You Need To Know About The New Veterans ID Card:

Tens of thousands of veterans have expressed interest in obtaining a new national veterans identification card, intended as convenient proof of their service when they seek military discounts offered by retail and restaurant chains. The high level of interest was too much for the online application site operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs at vets.gov. Read more.

Meet One Woman Helping Veterans Become Business Owners:

Even before Tracy Flanagan married a serial entrepreneur, she’d started picking up the skills to become a business owner. She was working in a legal office developing new systems. “I noticed my ability to take charge and create something,” Flanagan said. “That entrepreneurship bug was already burrowing.” Read more.

National Guard Meets Challenges Of A Busy 2017:

Hurricanes and wildfires, along with large-scale, multi-national training exercises and overseas deployments made 2017 a busy year for the National Guard. Read more.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) By The Numbers:

Each year in the U.S., roughly eight million adults suffer from PTSD. They include veterans like Bryan, who found himself sleeping with a knife in his hand and a gun clutched against his chest. “Any noise that would happen,” he remembers, “I would jump up.” And like Marine Corps veteran James, who found himself feeling disconnected and later seething with rage. “I was angry on a level that I had never been before in my life,” James says. “I was filled with hate.” Read more.

Previously Missing Korean War Veteran Finally Laid To Rest:

Sixty-six years after Army Pfc. Albert E. Atkins went missing during the Korean War he was finally laid to rest with military honors. On May 23, 1951, Atkins was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team, when his unit was attacking enemy forces near Mae-Bong, South Korea. The regiment’s mission was to secure Hill 911. As the company prepared to assault the hill, Atkins and two other soldiers from his company were reported missing in action. Read more.

Q&A With Veterans Affairs (VA) Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Lisa Wratchford:

Wondering what it’s like to be a VA employee? To give you some insight, read this interview with Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Lisa Wratchford of the Abilene Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Texas. As a Navy veteran, she has a unique perspective, and she’ll help you decide if a career with the VA is right for you. Read more.

Soldier Turned Off Light For Final Time In Saigon:

Robert Barker was the last soldier on the last flight to leave Saigon on March 29, 1973. The eight passengers on the Air Force C-130 that departed Tan Son Nhut Air Base in Saigon that afternoon for Ubon, Thailand, included three Air Force members, four civilians and Barker. Read more.

The Dinner Conversation That Could Save Your Life:

While there are many topics you've learned to avoid at holiday dinners, there's one matter you should discuss. Your family's health history. When you know your family medical history, you can better understand your health and take steps to reduce your risk of certain health conditions. Read more.

Tips For Beating The Holiday Blues:

Every year a number of people get the 'blues' around the holidays. Beyond normal stress, low energy, money concerns, and demands of the season, veterans often have added pressures. Read more.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Accomplishments In 2017:

2017 has been a year of accomplishments for the VA and this is a perfect time to reflect on, acknowledge, and thank all of those who have enabled the many accomplishments that served veterans. Read more.

Veteran Lost Weight And Is Keeping It Off With MOVE! Program:

After giving up cigarettes and alcohol, Army veteran Mark Weingarth decided it was time to take his health to the next level and lose weight. He was looking for a program to help him make lifestyle changes, not just lose weight. He joined the MOVE program by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He encourages other veterans to give VA programs such as MOVE! a chance to help you reach your goals. Read more.

Veterans Creating A Brighter Future:

When presented with coloring books, Army veteran Giles Diggs, 60, thought of a million things he’d rather do. “I wasn’t interested in coloring books,” said Diggs, whose life changed due to illness and injury. “But I did it anyway.” What began as a chore offered by a nurse at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Maryland Health Care System changed Diggs’ mindset and his life. Read more.

Veterans On Prolonged Exposure Therapy For Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):

Prolonged exposure therapy is a treatment for PTSD that is clinically proven to provide symptom relief and other long-term benefits. The therapy empowers veterans to work through painful memories in a safe, supportive environment, enabling them to participate in activities they have been avoiding because of trauma. Read more.

Veterans Seek Purpose, Peace Of Mind Through Equine Therapy:

When Barb Knopf's son returned from tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan in 2010, he was a "changed young man." Suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder, the now-32-year-old U.S. Marine found solace in helping his mom care for their family’s horses. Knopf runs one of two Morgan horse rescue programs in the country, Her's is in La Valle, Wisconsin, the other facility is in Pennsylvania. Read more.

Veterans' Hospital Takes Wellness Approach To Combat Veteran Health Problems:

Opioid addiction, heart disease and posttraumatic stress disorder are some of the most common health issues among veterans and the Truman Veterans' Hospital in Columbia, MO is finding the path to recovery for veterans is through wellness. The veteran's hospital has formalized its wellness efforts and named it the Integrative Health and Wellness Program. 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: [email protected]

Fertile Valley Farm In Honesdale, PA (Wayne County) Is Hiring:

- Looking for a motivated, hard-working individual to work at a small dairy and beef operation, spanning all aspects of daily farm life.
- Apply via email to [email protected]. Include two references, a resume or description of experiences, and availability.
- Facebook page.

PA Disabiity Rights Advocate/Project Lead Position Opening:

- Disability Rights Pennsylvania (DRP) seeks an advocate/project lead in the Harrisburg (Dauphin County) office.
- Point of contact: Shelley Moore at 717-236-8110 or email [email protected]
- Job posting.

UPS Job Openings:

- The UPS facility in Throop, PA (Lackawanna County) has openings for non-strategic collections associates, Mon-Fri, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Point of contact: Jennifer Compton at 570-969-3394 or email [email protected]
- Apply. Please note vacancies are listed as a Scranton, PA Location on the website.

Waste Management Hiring Heavy Equipment Mechanics In Philadelphia, PA (Phila. County):

- Text WASTE to 51893 or call 1-877-220-5627 for more information
- Requirements: one year of prior heavy equipment diesel maintenance experience. Must be at least 18 years of age and must have a valid driver's license with a clean driving record.
- Apply.

Veterans' Job Search Group:

- Jan. 5, 2018, 10 a.m.-noon
- PA Careerlink Downtown Pittsburgh, 304 Wood St., Pittsburgh, PA (Allegheny County)
- Point of contact: Melissa Handlovitch at 412-552-7100 or email [email protected]
- All veterans and eligible spouses are welcome a Veterans' Job Search Group. The focus is on government entities and federal contractors seeking veterans with disabilities.
- Registration is required, seating is limited. Register.

 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 [email protected] 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 WW2 Round Table Meeting:

- Jan. 4, 2018, 7 p.m.
- Grace United Methodist Church, 433 E. Main St., Hummelstown, PA (Dauphin County)
- Point of contact: Charles F. Lloyd at 717-503-2862 or email [email protected]
- Battle of the Bulge veteran Charles Libby will be the guest speaker.
- Website.

National Alliance On Mental Illness Recovery Support Group:

- Every Thursday night, 6:30-8 p.m.
- 640 Centre Ave., Reading, PA (Berks County)
- Point of contact: 610-685-3000 or email [email protected]
- NAMI connection is a recovery support group for individuals 18 and over with mental illness that offers respect, understanding, encouragement and hope.
- Website.

DMVA'S Gino J. Merli Veterans' Center In Scranton Is Inviting The Public To An Open House:

- Jan. 7, 2018, 1-4 p.m.
- Gino J. Merli Veterans' Center, 402 Penn Ave., Scranton, PA (Lackawanna County)
- Point of contact: admissions office at 570-961-4348 or email [email protected]
- DMVA's Gino J. Merli Veterans' Center will hold an open house on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, from 1-4 p.m. Attendees can take a tour, meet the staff, enjoy refreshments, participate in activities, experience the comradery of fellow veterans and learn about the admissions process. For more information, contact the admissions office at 570-961-4348.
- Read more.

MilitaryShare Fresh Express Program:

- Jan. 9, 2018 and every first Tuesday of the month, 2-4 p.m.
- American Legion Post #572, 323 S. Williamson Rd., Blossburg, PA (Tioga County)
- Point of contact: Scott Ostrom at 717-682-10570-971-2758 or email [email protected] to pre-register.
- Registration is required for the free MilitaryShare distribution. MilitaryShare, a collaborative program of local food banks and the PA National Guard, is desgined to provide fresh, nutritious foods for veterans and military families in need.

Winter 2018 Fly Fishing Program:

- Jan. 13, 20, 27; Feb. 10, 17, 24; March 3, 10, 1-3 p.m.
- South Hills School of Business & Technology, 480 Waupelani Dr., State College (Centre County)
- Point of contact: Dan Kerstetter at [email protected] or Jim Lanning at [email protected]
- Register for this free class by email. Equipment and supplies will be provided. Classes are open to all veterans and their families.
- Website.

Fly Tying Instruction:

- First and third Thursday of each month, 6-8 p.m.
- American Legion Post #34, 1388 Arcadia Rd., Lancaster, PA (Lancaster County)
- Point of contact: Bill Nolan at 717-875-7426 or email [email protected]
- Donegal Trout Unlimited veterans service program is offering a free program to veterans, designed to teach the basics of fly fishing. All equipment and supplies will be provided free of charge.
- Facebook page.

National Alliance On Mental Health Family Support Group:

- Second Wednesday of every month, 7-8:30 p.m.
- 640 Centre Ave., Reading, PA (Berks County)
- Point of contact: 610-685-3000 or email [email protected]
- NAMI connection is a safe group of families helping other families who live with mental illness.
- Website.

Veteran Breakfast Club (VBC) Events:

- VBC events will not be held in January and February. The 2018 schedule of events will be issued in early February.
- Point of contact: 412-623-9029 or email [email protected].
- The VBC is a nonprofit organization that creates communities of listening around veterans and their stories. Storytelling events, both morning and night, are held throughout Western Pennsylvania. Veterans from World War II to Iraq and Afghanistan share their stories. They are open to the public, and you don’t need to be a veteran to attend.
- Facebook page.


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