Treasurer Stacy Garrity and James M. Zugay, Recorder of Deeds in Dauphin County and President of the Pennsylvania Recorders of Deeds Association (PRODA), today reminded Pennsylvania veterans to register their military discharge paperwork with their local recorder of deeds office.
“Military discharge papers are crucial documents for veterans to keep, and Recorder of Deed offices can provide easy access to official copies if the originals get misplaced or lost,” said Treasurer Garrity, a retired U.S. Army Reserve Colonel. “It’s important that my fellow veterans know about and understand the importance of this great resource, and I urge them all to make sure they have their paperwork on file with their county’s recorder of deeds.”
“Recorders are proud to serve as a custodian of DD214s for our veterans who have honorably served our country,” said Zugay. “We have recorded thousands of these documents, but our hope is spread the word that recording these documents in our office is a way to preserve them in a safe and confidential way if they are needed for any reason in the future.”
Recorders are required by Pennsylvania law to accept and maintain military discharge papers from veterans. This is the only document protected as private – DD214s are not public record.
If a veteran or their family loses the original paperwork, or it is lost due to a flood, fire or other natural disaster, certified copies can be obtained from the Recorder of Deeds office where the documents were stored. Without this county-level process, veterans would be forced to go through the federal government to receive replacement documents, which can be a cumbersome process.
To have military discharge papers recorded, veterans will need to provide their DD214 or NGB22 and, in some cases, a valid photo I.D. Veterans should contact their county Recorder of Deeds to ensure proper documentation. There is no fee associated with recording military discharge papers.
“I hope all veterans will take some time to register their discharge papers with their local county Recorder of Deeds,” Garrity said. “It’s a great service that can make things much easier in the future if their original documents get misplaced or destroyed.”
Recorders of Deeds have had the authority in Pennsylvania to collect military discharge papers since 1868.
To find your county recorder of deeds, visit PRODA’s website at padeeds.com/county-officials.
Johnson College’s Instant Decision Day for Veterans and those currently serving in the U.S. Military will be held on Friday, April 28, 2023, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. virtually and inside Woolworth Hall on the Johnson College Scranton campus. To register to attend in person or virtually, visit johnson.edu.
During the Instant Decision Event, Johnson College will provide prospective veteran students and those currently serving in the U.S. military with an immediate enrollment decision. They must supply their high school transcripts and can bring their college and military transcripts if applicable. It is highly recommended that the prospective student completes an application before attending.
Applications for Johnson College’s Physical Therapist Assistant, Radiologic Technology, and Veterinary Nursing programs are excluded from instant decisions.
Veterans are invited to be part of a studio audience and community conversation for the next Mind Over Matter television special, Veterans: Wounded Within on Thursday, February 2nd, 2023 at 6 pm at WVIA studios in Pittston.
Part of WVIA’s Mind Over Matter mental health initiative, Veterans: Wounded Within will feature moderator Tracey Matisak and a panel of regional mental health experts discussing the mental health challenges of veterans. Hear stories from people who are coping with mental health challenges and find out where to get help. Audience members will have an opportunity to ask panelists questions during the program taping.
Reservations are free but limited and can be made at: wvia.org/mindovermatter
About Mind Over Matter
Those suffering from mental health issues often become victims of discrimination and social isolation due to the stigma attached to these disorders. This stigma is a significant public health issue and can inhibit those with mental illness to seek proper treatment and recovery.
In order to combat the stigma and increase awareness, prevention, treatment, and management of a range of mental illnesses, WVIA and Geisinger present Mind Over Matter: A Mental Health Initiative. Like WVIA’s successful Battling Opioids series, this public health initiative aims to improve the mental and physical health of our community through a multi-platform approach that includes television, radio, and digital content.
Mind Over Matter is presented by Geisinger.
WVIA educates, inspires, entertains and fosters citizenship, diverse cultures, and perspectives to nurture community.
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Keystone College has been included among a group of colleges and universities that are doing the most to educate and serve our nation’s veterans.
Keystone has been listed as a school which is “Best for Vets” by Military Times Magazine, a national publication which serves veterans and active military members.
Keystone’s selection was compiled through the magazine’s extensive research to determine those schools which best serve veterans, their family members, and dependents through educational opportunities, financial assistance, and services.
“Throughout our history, Keystone has been especially attentive to providing a quality education to the men and women who have served our nation,” said Keystone College Interim President John F. Pullo, Sr. “For that reason, we are once again honored to be included as a top school for veterans by Military Times Magazine.”
In previous years, Keystone has also been listed as a top school for veterans by other national military and veterans publications. Founded in 1868, with a commitment to providing an education to Civil War veterans and their families, Keystone is home to the Elmer Hawk ’48 Veterans Center. The Center is now the East Coast home for Veterans Stand Together, a national non-profit organization dedicated to veterans’ advocacy and support and is also the home of the Keystone Armed Services Club.
The Veterans Center offers a comfortable and convenient meeting place for this special group of Keystone students who have given so much to their country. Students can meet with each other, complete their school assignments, or simply relax, read, visit with friends and family members, or watch television while waiting for their next class.
Recognized as one of the best educational values in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Keystone offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree options in liberal arts and science-based programs in business, communications, education, natural science, environmental science, and social sciences. Located 15 minutes from Scranton, Pa. and two hours from New York City and Philadelphia, Keystone is known for small class sizes and individual attention focused on student success through internships, research, and community involvement.
To thank local military veterans for their service, Geisinger will host drive-through Veterans Appreciation dinners at 11 locations across the health system’s service area from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10. Geisinger Healthplex State College will serve meals from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
The dinners for U.S. military veterans and a guest are being provided at no cost to participants. Anyone interested should make a reservation by Tuesday, Nov. 1.Geisinger will again serve this dinner as a drive-through event for the safety of the community, staff and volunteers. Last year’s event served more than 2,300 meals.
This year marks the 20th anniversary for the event at Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital, where it originated before expanding to other Geisinger facilities. This year’s event will grow from nine locations to 11.Veterans may contact their preferred location to register themselves and one guest for the meal. Servings are limited, and those interested are encouraged to sign up now.Locations are:
Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming), chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, on Monday led a voting meeting at which six pieces of legislation to benefit Pennsylvania’s military members, veterans and emergency responders were unanimously approved.
The proposals included House Resolution 129, sponsored by Rep. Tracy Pennycuick (R-Montgomery), which would require the Joint State Government Commission to study and report findings and recommendations on prominent issues facing female veterans, including post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma, and alcohol and substance abuse.
“Pennsylvania’s more than 71,000 women veterans often have different needs and issues when it comes to their health care. Whether it be how they process and deal with trauma and other mental health issues, they are not being adequately served under the current male-focused health care model in place,” Pennycuick told the committee.
“This legislation is long overdue. Our female veterans deserve the same kind of quality health care benefits as their male counterparts,” said Boback. “I am pleased we were able to move this important bill through the committee and look forward to its consideration in the House.”
Boback is the prime sponsor of House Bill 1867, legislation that would establish the Purple Star School Program. Under the proposal, Pennsylvania schools would be designated as Purple Star campuses if they demonstrate military-friendly practices and meet certain requirements such as: having a military liaison staff member; a webpage that includes resources for military students and families; and professional development training opportunities for staff members on issues relating to military students. The program is voluntary.
“This program would recognize schools that provide strong services for any educational transition issues encountered by military families and their children, who may experience multiple moves during their school-aged years,” Boback explained. “The Purple Star designation would signal that a school supports the social and emotional well-being of military children who are adjusting to new schools.”
Other measures advanced by the committee include:
All six measures will next be considered by the full House of Representatives.
Geisinger has been recognized for its continued support of military veterans and active service members with two recent designations. The Pennsylvania-based health organization was recognized by Military Times on its 2021 Best for Vets: Employers rankings and earned the 2022 Military Friendly® Employer designation by VIQTORY.
Both honors recognize Geisinger’s commitment and efforts to building programs and opportunities for military veterans.
“Both of these honors recognize Geisinger’s commitment to building important programs and opportunities for our military veterans in the community and beyond,” said Kim Drumgo, Geisinger’s chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. “We know that a diverse workforce with unique experiences and backgrounds makes our team stronger, and our veterans and their family members are an important part of our Geisinger family. We honor their many sacrifices and support their career growth and health.”
To be designated a Military Friendly Employer, Geisinger was evaluated using public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. Methodology, criteria and weightings were determined by VIQTORY with input from the Military Friendly Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining an organization’s survey score with an assessment of the organization’s ability to meet thresholds for applicants, new hire retention, employee turnover and promotion & advancement of veterans and military employees.
For the Best for Vets ranking, Military Times collaborated with Fors Marsh Group (FMG) to update the research methodology and analysis from previous years to provide a streamlined, user-friendly survey experience for participants. All survey changes were made based on subject matter expert reviews of the survey and rigorous qualitative research, including focus groups and in-depth interviews with Military Times subscribers. FMG designed, deployed, analyzed and wrote the report for this year’s survey.
The updated survey captured the areas of greatest importance to transitioning service members, veterans and their families when looking for an employer. Recruitment and employment practices, as well as retention and support programs, were given the most weight and importance in scoring and final rankings.
“Geisinger is committed to military veterans by providing care options and career opportunities to them in their local communities,” said U.S. Army veteran Chris Grill, program manager of Military and Veterans Affairs at Geisinger. “We know that employing talented people, like those from our veteran community, contributes to our overall goal of making better health easier for our patients and members.”
Geisinger employs more than 700 active-duty service members and veterans throughout the system. As part of its commitment to the military and its veterans, Geisinger introduced a paid military leave benefit, which provides service members employed by Geisinger to be paid for time at annual trainings, encampments and drills. It also recently established military fellowship program eases the transition of active-duty service members looking to move into a civilian career. To learn more about Geisinger’s veteran programs and career opportunities, visit jobs.geisinger.org/veterans.