Waverly United Methodist Church Drive-Thru Pasta Dinner to Honor Veterans

In honor of Veteran’s Day, Waverly United Methodist Church (UMC) will offer FREE Drive Thru pasta dinners on Friday, November 5th, beginning at 4:30 p.m. until all the meals have been claimed.

Co-sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Abington, Walmart, and Waverly United Methodist Church, this Veterans’ Pasta Dinner has become a much-anticipated annual event. Typically, this dinner would be offered as a dine-in event at the Waverly Community House, complete with musical entertainment. However, like so many other local traditions, 2020 saw the format of this dinner changed in response to COVID.

The2021 Veterans’ Pasta Dinner will be available in Drive-Thru/Take-Out format and can be picked up at Waverly UMC, located at 105 Church Street, On the COMM Square, in Waverly. This meal is made possible, in part, by a grant from Walmart and is open and available at no cost to all community members.

Please note only 150 meals are available. Dinners will be available from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.or until they are gone. No reservations are necessary, but anyone wishing to obtain a meal is encouraged to come out early as meals will not be held and are distributed on a first-come/first-served basis.

Each meal includes pasta, marinara sauce, and meatballs, salad with dressing, a roll with butter, and dessert.

As each meal is distributed, volunteers will gratefully accept any offered donations on behalf of Equines For Freedom.This is the second year that donations from this event have been designated for Equines For Freedom (EFF). EFF is a 501©3 charitable organization which offers FREE horse-assisted therapy services for Veterans and First Responders with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). EFF services are completely confidential and are offered at no cost regardless of the source of the client’s trauma or the character of their military service.

‘For Those Who Served’ Package of Bills Gains Traction in the House, Aims to Assist Veterans

Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming), majority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, joined by members of the committee and other House members, along with Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin), stand in support of the ‘For Those Who Served’ package of bills aimed at assisting veterans and their families.

“We stand here today in this beautiful setting of Soldier’s Grove to honor the men and women who served our country honorably and heroically as members of our armed forces,” said Boback. “The bills were reported out of my committee just before Memorial Day. With the remembrance of D-Day, June 6, 1944, coupled with the upcoming 4th of July celebration, we felt that it was paramount to work together on behalf of our veteran community throughout the Commonwealth. The committee came together, in a bipartisan fashion, to produce a package of bills that will truly assist our veterans and their families.

“I know that there is more to do, and I assure you other bills will follow later in the year, but this package of bills will improve the lives of veterans across Pennsylvania. The package increases funding for our Act 66 Veterans Service Office Program, as well as our Pennsylvania Veterans Trust Fund. Additional funding is also increased for our Veteran Honor Guard Programs at Pennsylvania’s three national cemeteries and increases our State Blind and Paralyzed Veterans Pension Programs.

“The committee worked to additionally enhance college admission criteria, create greater protections for veterans discharge papers, update our veterans’ outreach and service programs and membership criteria for various veterans and military commissions. There is legislation also focused on establishing Pennsylvania as a partner in the ‘National Medal of Honor Highway’ and a resolution to call on the United States Congress to embrace new therapies for the treatment of post-traumatic stress injuries.

“We must always search for solutions and assistance for those who have suffered trauma, injuries and loss on our behalf – they truly deserve the best care they can receive. I am grateful for the sponsors of the legislation and the committee members and I look forward to seeing their passage through the General Assembly.”

‘For Those Who Served’ package of bills included House Bills 164, 490, 941, 995, 1055, 1057, 1091, 1220, 1389, 1421, and 1427; House Resolution 103; and Senate Bill 155.

For more information on the legislation, go to https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/bills/.

The press conference can be viewed here.

Vietnam Veterans Invited to Commemorative Pinning Ceremony In Wyoming County

In an effort to honor Vietnam-era veterans, the Offices of Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming) will co-host a ceremony to commemorate area Vietnam Veterans.

This event will take place Friday May 14th, 2021, at 6:00 pm at the Tunkhannock High School Football Field, 135 Pennsylvania Ave, Tunkhannock, PA 18657.  This ceremony will be part of the Wall That Heals display in Tunkhannock. The Wall that Heals is a program of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund that displays a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and is designed to travel to communities throughout the United States.  Commemorative pins will be presented to eligible Vietnam-era veterans during the ceremony.

Veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time between Nov. 1, 1955 and May 15, 1975, regardless of location, will be eligible to receive a lapel pin at this ceremony. Family members are invited to attend the ceremony with veterans.

Vietnam veterans from Wyoming and surrounding counties who wish to attend should contact Rep. Boback’s office in Tunkhannock at (570) 836-4777 to RSVP. All CDC and PA Department of Health guidelines will be followed.

Boback Announces Virtual Job Fair Available to Service Members and their Families

Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming) announced two upcoming virtual job fairs to help active military members, veterans and their families.

The first was held by the Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership on Wednesday, March 10, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The second will be held by the Pennsylvania National Guard Associations on Wednesday, March 24, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“These virtual job fairs present an amazing opportunity for those who have served our country and continue to serve, along with their families as well,” said Boback. “I am always honored to help out our veterans and their families in any way I can and sharing this information will hopefully provide individuals with interview and hiring experience.”

The Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership is hosting its fourth virtual hiring fair for military spouses. The department is committed to ensuring military spouses have the access to education and employment resources to help them thrive in their military life. Providing virtual opportunities and empowering military spouses remains a top priority.

For more information individuals can call 800-342-9647 to speak with a Spouse Education Career Opportunities career coach or visit www.msephire.vfairs.com to register for the event.

The Pennsylvania National Guard Associations (PNGAS) is hosting its virtual job fair for all job seekers, veterans and non-veterans. PNGAS has been helping Guard members, veterans, their spouses, military families, and job seekers get job opportunities. Right now, in the middle of COVID, the PNGAS Job Board has over 2,000 job postings.  

For more information and to register for the event visit https://pngas.org/mission/jobs-board.

New Law Updates CDL Requirements for PA Veterans, Service Members

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) announced today that a new Pennsylvania law waives the requirement for Pennsylvania residents who are current and former military members and who operated a commercial vehicle as part of their duties, to take a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Knowledge Test when applying for a CDL. Previous legislation – Act 133 of 2008 – established a waiver of the CDL skills test for these individuals.

“We are pleased to announce this important change and hope that it helps military members in their transition to civilian life find good-paying, sustainable employment to begin their new lives,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian.

Act 131 of 2020 allows the PennDOT to waive the CDL Knowledge Test for Pennsylvania residents on active or reserve military duty or recently honorably discharged veterans, provided those service members have at least two years of experience operating a commercial motor vehicle as part of their military job requirements.

The waiver applies to CDL applicants who wish to operate vehicles similar to those they operated in the military. For example, those who drove combination type commercial (Class A) motor vehicles in the military will be eligible in Pennsylvania for a waiver to drive a combination type vehicle and those who drove a single motor vehicle of commercial type (Class B) in the military will be eligible in Pennsylvania for the waiver to drive that type of vehicle. Applicants must complete form DL-398, “Application for Military CDL Test Waiver,” to request the waiver.

Doubles, triples and school bus endorsements cannot be waived under this program. PennDOT will waive the knowledge test specified, subject to the limitations in the 49 Code of Federal Regulation Section 383.77, to an applicant who meets all the requirements for a waiver.

“Service members gain many valuable skills in the military that translate well into the civilian job sector,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania’s acting adjutant general and acting head of the DMVA. “This program is a huge opportunity to assist our veterans and service members with these skills to get good jobs as Pennsylvania is critically short in CDL drivers.”

Military personnel and veterans interested in taking advantage of the CDL skills and knowledge test waivers can find further information by visiting www.dmv.pa.gov, click on Driver Services and choose Military Personnel Veterans from the dropdown. Form DL-398 can be found under Forms and Publications on the homepage.