Category Archives: Veterans

The Veterans Breakfast Club Goes National

veterans breakfast club

This week, the Veterans Breakfast Club (VBC) launched its effort to extend its programs to veterans and non-veterans nationwide. Since 2008, the VBC has served mostly the greater Pittsburgh area with weekly local meetings to unite veterans within the community and share their stories. Following the organization’s success and strategic shift to virtual programming last year, the VBC is scaling up to extend its geographic reach.

“To ensure that the living history of U.S. veterans will never be forgotten, Veterans Breakfast Club (VBC) announced today the national expansion of its nonprofit organization. Founded in 2008, VBC is dedicated to creating communities of listening around veterans and their stories to connect, educate, heal and inspire. Through diverse virtual programming, VBC is cultivating the only community of its kind, bringing together veterans, their families and civilians to share, celebrate and preserve veterans’ stories.”

Continue reading all about the Veterans Breakfast Club’s announcement, click here.

“‘We must do more’ — Defense Secretary orders review of sexual assault prevention efforts” – Task & Purpose

prevent sexual support

by Hayley Britzky

“Newly-confirmed Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has given his senior military leaders until Feb. 5 to provide him with a summary of what is and isn’t working in their efforts to combat sexual assault and harassment in the ranks.

“’I know this has been a focus for you and for the Department’s leadership,’ Austin wrote in a memo released on Saturday, the day after he was confirmed by the Senate. ‘I know you have worked this problem for many years. I tried to tackle it myself when I, too, commanded.’

“”We simply must admit the hard truth: we must do more. All of us.’

“Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered senior leaders to tell him what is and isn’t working in their efforts against sexual assault.”

“Austin said in the memo that while President Joe Biden has ordered a 90-day commission to ‘pursue solutions to sexual assault in the military,’ he wanted to move faster.

“He ordered leaders to provide a summary of the accountability measures taken in the last year that ‘show promise,’ along with ‘frank, data-driven assessment of those which do not’ He also asked they focus on what kind of oversight their programs and policies have to ensure they are being ‘executed on the ground and with fidelity.'”

Continue reading this article at Task & Purpose, click here.

“As scams against senior citizens increase in Pennsylvania, state forms task force to help” – Reading Eagle

scams reading eagle

by Mike Urban

“Brian Long is 77 and knows his age makes him a target for the increasing number of scammers who try to steal from senior citizens.

“They see the elderly as easy prey, he said, and are ruthless enough to come after them.

“Long has learned enough about financial abuse of the elderly that he not only recognizes emails, phone calls and text messages from people attempting to rip him off, but also leads seminars about these crimes on behalf of Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon LINK, an agency that helps the aging and disabled.

“Despite his attempts to help people avoid being victimized, Long has repeatedly heard from seniors who still fell prey to financial schemes, evidence of how devious those scammers can be, he said.

“Long and others who work with the elderly in Berks hope a new state task force can help protect seniors, improve reporting mechanisms and cut down on those crimes by coordinating efforts between agencies.”

re scams


Resources for seniors

If you’re a victim, call your local police department or your bank if you notice something wrong with your accounts.

Those with general questions about crimes against seniors can call the Berks County Area Office on Aging at 610-478-6500 or the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources at 800-753-8827.

Pennsylvania also has a statewide Elder Abuse Hotline at 800-490-8505.

About community living.

“All people, regardless of age or disability, should be able to live independently and participate fully in their communities. Every person should have the right to make choices and to control the decisions in and about their lives. This right to self-determination includes decisions about their homes and work, as well as all the other daily choices most adults make without a second thought.

acl graphic

Why Community Living?

“In survey after survey, when older adults and people with disabilities are asked where they would prefer to live, they say they want to live in their communities, not in institutions. People also are happier and healthier when they live in community settings. 

“Inclusion of older adults and people with disabilities also offers many benefits to  communities themselves. Communities miss out on valuable voices and perspectives when people with disabilities and older adults are left out. They are deprived of co-workers, volunteers, mentors, and friends who offer new ways of thinking about, and navigating, the world. When older adults are excluded, communities lose wisdom collected over many decades, and their connection to history. 

“Community living also happens to be less expensive than other options for most people. Skilled nursing facilities can cost an average of $75,000 a year and public residential facilities for people with disabilities average $225,000 a year. In most cases, these costs are not covered by Medicare or private health insurance. 

“Finally, a series of laws, court decisions, and administrative rules have established community living as a legal right. Most notably, in 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Olmstead v. L.C. that people with disabilities must receive services in the most integrated settings possible. This landmark decision has been a critical tool in protecting the rights of people with disabilities and older adults alike.”

There’s more here at the Administration for Community Living Website: https://acl.gov/about-community-living


The Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources is an initiative of the Administration for Community Living.

“No More Emotional Support Peacocks As Feds Crack Down On Service Animals On Planes” – NPR

Orlando, emotional support animal, ESA

“Under a new rule issued last week by the Transportation Department, only dogs that meet strict service animal standards will be allowed to fly with passengers. Orlando, emotional support animal, ESA.” (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

by David Schaper

“The days of bringing your emotional support cat, pig or even a miniature horse on a plane may soon be coming to an end. The federal government is enacting a new rule restricting the types of service animals allowed on commercial airline flights, allowing only dogs that meet specific training criteria.

“The new Department of Transportation rule is in response to a growing backlash in recent years to airline passengers trying to bring all kinds of wild and outlandish pets onto planes, including the woman who tried to bring an “emotional support” peacock on board a United Airlines flight in 2018, and the “comfort” turkey that was actually allowed to fly on Delta Airlines back in 2016.

“‘It’s gotten really out of control,’ says Paul Hartshorn, Jr., a flight attendant for American Airlines and spokesperson for the flight attendants’ union there. ‘For years, our members have been dealing with untrained, sometimes wild animals in the aircraft cabin.

“‘For the most part, I will say it’s dogs that are not properly trained, but we’ve seen everything from pigs, to monkeys, to hamsters. You name it, we’ve seen it,’ Hartshorn added.

“The untrained animals can have behavioral issues, and some even relieve themselves on the plane.”

Continue reading this article at NPR; click here.

ATTENTION Link partner agencies: 2020-21 Veterans’ Trust Fund Notice of Funding Announcement

veterans trust fund

Click on the above graphic to download the entire .pdf file.

NOTE: The due date for the application is Wednesday January 27, 2021 by 2:00 pm

New guide: Resources for Pennsylvania Military Veterans with Developmental Disabilities

disability rights for veterans

This guide is downloadable at the Disability Rights Pennsylvania Website: Click here.

Link partners will remember the name Stephen Lew; Stephen attended several Link partner cross-training meetings until he informed us he was leaving Pennsylvania and heading to Alaska. He was a valued resource for us.

Veterans Day, 2020 & the history of Veterans Day

va poster

History of Veterans Day

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

Continuing reading, click here.

Thanksgiving Basket Drive

USO basket drive

SAVE THE DATE (October 9, 2020) – Hope, Healing & Recovery | a Lebanon Veterans Affairs Medical Center event!

VA mental health event