Hire Our Heroes (HOH) will provide a free, round-trip ticket to anywhere in the country if a transitioning veteran needs to go to a job interview but is otherwise without the means to travel to and from the interview. Read the rest of this entry »
Anthony Pearson, Founder and President of PPLVets, a “Business Resource Group” (BRG) of PPL Corporation, the local power and light company, spoke to the Council at its 19 June business meeting. He is Persian Gulf War (Gulf War I) Marine who served from 1989 through 1993.
Pearson explained PPL has had ten other minority and special group BRG’s since it began them about 13 to 14 years ago, but it had never had one for veterans until Read the rest of this entry »
Want to start your own business? Tired of working for someone else? Unemployed or underemployed and want to change your life? You’re not alone. Nearly 40% of returning current conflict veterans have expressed a desire to work for themselves.
Can you afford to spare one night a week for ten weeks Read the rest of this entry »
Forward Observer — ‘Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012’ Enacted!August 28, 2012
NEW VETERANS OMINBUS BILL SIGNED INTO LAW ON 6 AUGUST
Surprisingly, nothing has been mentioned in the local media on the recent passage of H.R. 1627 (now known as Public Law 112-154), Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, despite its importance to the veterans community. It is an omnibus bill affecting many; and it finally brings some, though not total, resolution to the Camp Lejeune water contamination situation which has been previously written about.
Several veterans organizations withheld their support because the Lejeune provision set a dangerous precedent in their opinion. In their minds, the bill unfairly levies requirements on the VA to take care of an essentially Department of Defense (DoD) or TRICARE problem. While we might agree with them from one perspective, the larger issue is the government taking responsibility to care for those in need of it, no matter whence it comes. We are more concerned about the fact that no one currently knows when the VA will implement the Lejeune actions required, since no deadline has been set. Read the rest of this entry »
NINE RECIPIENTS ARE RECOGNIZED
The 2012 award recipients of the Lehigh Valley Military Affairs Council’s Scholarship Program were honored at the Council’s business meeting on 15 August 2012. Phil Hublitz of the Scholarship Subcommittee, presented the awards, assisted by Dave Binder, Board Member. The awardees had been vetted by a team consisting of Phil Hublitz and Bob Rothenberger as Co-Chairs, Lois Binder, JoAnn Van Billiard, and Tom Shaunessey
Most of the awardees are high school seniors and the most are enrolling in ROTC in college with plans to serve in the military – several plan twenty year careers in the service. The majority are enrolled in local colleges. Two who are a veteran’s child plan on military service. One homeless veteran is returning to college. Applications from returning veterans continue to be problematic probably due to the generous Post 9/11 GI Bill. Local colleges have a large veteran enrollment, the college financial aid staffs have been contacted and are well aware that scholarships are available from LVMAC. Veterans have a record of success in college. An application has never been received from a Reservist or Guardsman from a local military unit, except for their children. Those recognized, together with their families, were: Read the rest of this entry »
DAVE VENDITTA AND HIS WAR STORY PROJECT
He got interested in the subject in the mid-1990’s while trying to find out how his cousin, Nicky, a twenty year old helicopter pilot, had actually died in Vietnam within eleven days of his arrival. Venditta was a 15 year old at the time of the funeral, but memories of his cousin haunted him. In the end, he discovered the official version of death by enemy action was untrue. Instead, Nicky had actually died at the hands of his own while undergoing an in-country orientation. Whether or not the sergeant pulling the pin of the grenade in a demonstration of its safe use actually new it was a live grenade or thought it was a dud or practice grenade was never determined, but three died as a result. One of them was Nicky. However, in the process of relaying the news to the family, his cousins and uncles began recounting their own war stories. Read the rest of this entry »
LEHIGH COUNTY SEES ITS VETERANS’ MENTOR PROGRAM AS A SUCCESS
Steve Luksa, First Assistant District Attorney for Lehigh County, spoke to the Council on 20 June at its business meeting about the District Attorney’s Veterans’ Mentor Program. Other program team members present with him were: Debbie Garlicki, Executive Aide (Public Relations), DA’s Office; Brenda Trayes, Administrative Assistant, DA’s Office; Shane Schmeckenbecker, Probation Officer II; and Maureen McManus, Executive Director of Lehigh Valley Pretrial Services
According to Mr. Luksa, the one-year old, Veterans’ Mentor Program (whose motto is “Leave no veteran behind.”) started out as part of Team MISA (Mental Illness and Substance Abuse), now in its seventh year and an effort which has reduced cost and recidivism while still protecting the community. An increasing number of veterans were using the that program, but there was no way to address treating them uniquely (as he believed they should be). Hence the program was created. Read the rest of this entry »