Veterans Resource Fair

The Erie VAMC and Veterans Leadership Program joined forces to bring an all-inclusive Veteran-centric event to Erie, featuring FREE SERVICES for Veterans and family members with informative resources provided by VA and additional Veteran serving organizations. It will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 17, at the Zem Zem Shrine Club, located at 2525 West 38th Street in Erie. Veterans, family members and care givers can enjoy a FREE BREAKFAST BUFFET while learning about the many services available to Veterans within the community.

Senate Committee Hearing

The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a hearing on improving veterans’ access to long-term care. Witnesses from VA answered questions on its policies and procedures regarding long-term health care services and expansion of the Veteran Directed Care program. Chairman Tester explained, “The Veteran Directed Care [VDC] program provides veterans the opportunity to receive long-term care services in their homes by providing them with the budget to hire workers to assist them with certain activities.” He then asked for an update on the expansion of VDC to all VA medical centers by the end of next year.

VFW Speaks at Global Impact Forum

VFW National Security and Foreign Affairs Director Jeremy Williams participated in the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s 2023 Global Impact Forum. Williams discussed the vital interplay between U.S. military operations, Veterans Service Organizations, and the nation’s diplomacy activities around the world. When asked how the VFW aids overseas U.S. priorities, he stated “The VFW carries the water of American diplomacy abroad.” Establishing and sustaining lines of communication and relationships that improve our ability to build diplomatic channels and mitigate conflict enables our organization’s on-going commitment to the comprehensive accounting for and recovery of all service members who are listed as missing in action.

Mental Health Care Services During Transition

The Military Health System’s inTransition program aids service members, veterans, and retirees — regardless of component, time served, or discharge category — to establish or transfer mental health care during times of transition. This program is a free service that is not time limited. It is staffed with qualified coaches familiar with military culture who stand ready to assist individuals to connect with the care they need.

POW/MIA Update

Navy Seaman 1st Class Elmer P. Lawrence, 25, of Park City, Kentucky, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. He will be buried on July 22, 2023, in Smiths Grove, Kentucky.

Army Air Forces Technical Sgt. Lawrence E. Reitz, 22, of Hoopeston, Illinois, was assigned to the 343rd Bombardment Squadron, 98th Bombardment Group, 9th Air Force. On Aug. 1, 1943, the B-24 Liberator on which he was radio operator was hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire and crashed. He will be buried in Williamsport, Indiana, on a date to be determined.

Till next week, praying for all service members.


– Charles Castelluccio