Category Archives: Veterans

Governor Announces Veterans’ Trust Fund Grant Awards

governor - veterans

March 12, 2018 Harrisburg, Pa. – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that 13 Pennsylvania counties’ veterans’ affairs offices will receive $150,000 in grants and 18 charitable or veteran service organizations will receive $650,000 in grants from the Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF), which is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA).The VTF is funded by generous Pennsylvanians who voluntarily make a $3 donation when applying for or renewing their driver’s license or photo ID and also renewing a motor vehicle registration. Additionally, proceeds come from the sale of the Honoring Our Veterans license plate and private donations. Since the grant program began in 2013, a total of $2,832,860 has been awarded to organizations that serve Pennsylvania veterans.“The citizens of Pennsylvania continue to show how much they value our veterans through their willingness to voluntarily donate to the Veterans’ Trust Fund,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “Their generosity helps to support programs and services that positively impact the lives of veterans and their families.”

Grantees slated to receive funding identified $520,193 in matching funds pledged toward grant-funded initiatives. Combined with the VTF grants, this will result in more than $1.3 million for veterans’ initiatives during the next two years.

“I have been fortunate to see firsthand how these organizations that were selected for VTF grants provide critical support to our most needy veterans,” said Maj. Gen. Tony Continue reading →

May 24 – The PA CARES Training Summit

pa caresTo download the entire brochure showing activities, programs and registration information, click here or on the graphic above.

Starting tomorrow: A week of special events for veterans at Lebanon VA Medical Center

va open house

There is a week-long schedule of events during Nation Salute to Veteran Patients Week at Lebanon Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

va week

2016 Disability Status Report

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The annual report from Cornell University provides a summary of the most recent demographic and economic statistics on the non-institutionalized population with disabilities. The report includes information about the population size and disability prevalence for various demographic subpopulations. Statistics related to employment, earnings, household income, veterans’ service-connected disability and health insurance are also included.

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disability status reportClick on the graphic or here to download the complete report as a .pdf format.


VA provides mental health care to veterans of recent Iraq and Afghanistan wars of comparable or superior quality to other providers, yet substantial unmet need remains

WASHINGTON — While the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides mental health care of comparable or superior quality to care provided in private and non-VA public sectors, accessibility and quality of services vary across the VA health system, leaving a substantial unmet need for mental health services among veterans of the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.  A survey of these veterans developed and fielded by the committee that conducted the study found that approximately half of those who may have a need for mental health care do not use VA or non-VA services, indicating that a large proportion of veterans do not receive any treatment for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorder, or depression. In addition, more than half of veterans who screened positive in the survey for having a mental health care need do not perceive a need for mental health services.

va mental health

Approximately 4 million U.S. service members took part in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  In Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) began on Oct. 7, 2001, and ended on Dec. 31, 2014.  In Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) began on March 20, 2003, and on Sept. 1, 2010, operations there continued under the name Operation New Dawn (OND).  To help carry out its charge, the committee conducted site visits and sought input on the use of VA mental health services directly from veterans of these wars, their Continue reading →

Friday Wrap-Up, January 26, 2018 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

Each week week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth. Click here to download the newsletter as a .pdf file.


“Is That Service Dog A Fake? Under Federal Law, You Can’t Even Ask” – DisabilityScoop

ds171205_servicedogs.jpg“Josh Lewis, right, walks out of North Kansas City Hospital with his caregiver Meleana Still and service dog Bing after physical therapy. Bing has helped Josh with his walking and balancing.” (Shelly Yang/The Kansas City Star/TNS)

by Mark Davis, The Kansas City Star

“The unleashed dog lunged from the woman’s lap and right at Andy, Michaela Chase’s dog.

“‘It was going for blood,’ Chase said, thinking back to the narrow waiting room at her physical therapy gym in Lincoln, Neb. ‘It was in full attack mode.’

“Shielded by Chase’s wheelchair, Andy avoided the other dog, which had a tag on its collar that said ‘service dog.’ But though there was no fight, the damage was done.

“It really ruined Andy,’ Chase said of her service dog trained by Paws for Freedom Inc. in Tonganoxie, Kan. Andy — the victim of a fake service dog, Chase said — now distrusts other dogs. He’ll even bark at other service dogs.

“Fake service dogs are essentially untrained pets wearing vests or tags purchased online so Fido can tag along, too. They’ve become the bane of those who rely on trained service dogs to deal with disabilities.”

Read this article in its entirety at Disability Scoop.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY – “Developing Solutions for Social Isolation in the United States: Learning From the World”

We’re providing a total of $2.5 million in funding, looking for the best ideas from around the world that can address social isolation in the United States.


by Maryjoan Ladden

I remember reading the story of a dying patient who, when asked who to call as his life was ending, he replied, ‘no one.’ He had absolutely no immediate family or close friends. Dr. Druv Khullar who wrote the piece noted ‘the sadness of his death was surpassed only by the sadness of his solitude. I wondered whether his isolation was a driving force of his premature death, not just an unhappy circumstance.’

“This profoundly sad story struck me to my core.

“Not everyone has a social network to call on when they need people by their side. Many people feel disconnected from society and from life, and that contributes to a host of physical, mental and emotional health problems. In fact, according to experts, social isolation is as bad for your health as smoking, obesity, elevated blood pressure, and high cholesterol.”

Click here to continue reading.


If you have an idea from abroad that just might work in America, see our new Call for Proposals!


See full Call for Proposals for more information.


VA Announces Rollout and Application Process for New Veterans ID Card

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced yesterday that the application process for the national Veterans Identification Card (VIC) is now available for Veterans — yet another action honoring their service.

This has been mandated through legislation since 2015 to honor Veterans, and today’s rollout of the ID card fulfills that overdue promise.

Only those Veterans with honorable service will be able to apply for the ID card, which will provide proof of military service, and may be accepted by retailers in lieu of the standard DD-214 form to obtain promotional discounts and other services where offered to Veterans.

“The new Veterans Identification Card provides a safer and more convenient and efficient way for most Veterans to show proof of service,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “With the card, Veterans with honorable service to our nation will no longer need to carry around their paper DD-214s to obtain Veteran discounts and other services.”

The VIC provides a more portable and secure alternative for those who served the minimum obligated time in service, but did not meet the retirement or medical discharge threshold. Veterans who served in the armed forces, including the reserve components, and who have a discharge of honorable or general (under honorable conditions) can request a VIC.

To request a VIC, Veterans must visit, click on “Apply for Printed Veteran ID Card” on the bottom left of the page and sign in or create an account.

Veterans who apply for a card should receive it within 60 days and can check delivery status of their cards at A digital version of the VIC will be available online by mid-December.

Here are some common questions (and answers) about VA Healthcare eligibility – Lebanon VAMC newsletter

VA eligibility

Click here to download the complete newsletter.