Erie VA holds annual volunteers banquet

The Erie VA Medical Center held its annual volunteers banquet last Saturday. It was held at The Concourse at Union Station. It was reported that there are 473 volunteers. There were 73,000 hours donated. The volunteers received awards and certificates. A great time was had by all.

VFW Testifies in Support of Women Vets, Caregivers & Medical Marijuana Research

On Tuesday, VFW National Legislative Service Associate Director Kayda Keleher testified at a House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health hearing focused on women veterans, caregivers and medical marijuana research. Keleher offered the VFW’s support for legislation to expand the number of peer-to-peer counselors for women veterans; provide better monitoring for quality assurance of sex-specific health care from community providers; increase caps for VA provider education debt reimbursements; better coordinate between states and VA for controlled-substance monitoring; require VA to conduct research on the efficacy of medical marijuana research; and expand caregiver benefits to veterans of all eras.

VFW-supported Bill to Expand Commissary Access Introduced

Representatives Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., and Walter Jones, R-N.C., introduced H.R. 5467, the Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act of 2018. The bill, which is endorsed by the VFW, would allow veterans with a service-connected disability, Medal of Honor recipients, veterans formerly held as prisoners of war, and veteran caregivers to use commissaries and MWR programs.


Air Force Reserve 1st Lt. David T. Dinan, III, 25, a Vietnam war veteran, of Nutley, N.J., whose identification was previously announced, was buried April 13 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Milton M. Beed, 30, of Meadow Grove, Neb., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried April 25.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Lester R. Walker, 19, a Korean war veteran, of Ferriday, La., whose identification was previously announced, was buried April 18 in Downsville, La.

Army Cpl. Leonard V. Purkapile, 26, a Korean war veteran of Potosi, Wis., whose identification was previously announced, will buried April 26 in Lancaster, Wis.

Army Master Sgt. Finley J. Davis, 39, a Korean war veteran, of Pittsburgh, whose identification was previously announced, was buried April 19 in North Charleston, S.C.

Army Pvt. Raymond Sinowitz, 25, a WWII veteran, of Bronx, N.Y., whose identification was previously announced, was buried April 23 in Arlington National Cemetery.

Army Pfc. John H. Walker, a WWII veteran, was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, when he was reported missing in action after his unit engaged in fierce fighting on Hill 207 near Schönthal, Germany in the Hürtgen Forest. Interment services are pending.

Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Vincent L. Politte, a WWII veteran, served as a gunner with the 345th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 9th Air Force. He was killed in the summer of 1943 while participating in a raid on the Ploesti Oil Refinery complex. Interment services are pending.

Marine Corps Pfc. Clarence E. Drumheiser, a WWII veteran, was assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force. Interment services are still pending.

Navy Seaman 2nd Class Joe M. Kelley was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when Japanese aircraft attacked his ship on Dec. 7, 1941. Interment services are pending.

Till next week, praying for all service members.

– Charles Castelluccio