Voice of Democracy and Patriots Pen Awards and Banquet

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The VFW 28th District (Crawford, Erie and Mercer Counties) held its VOD (Voice of Democracy) and Patriots Pen Awards and Banquet on Saturday at VFW Post 6166 in Hermitage. Everyone that entered was considered a winner. The theme for the Patriots Pen was “America’s Gift To My Generation.” Judging results are: 3rd place, Christopher Mrozek, representing Volant Post 7465; 2nd place, Carmille Andrzejewski, representing Edinboro/McKean Post 740; and 1st place, Macy Saxton, representing Sharpsville Post 6404. Twelve posts advanced 59 winners to District for judging and 634 students submitted essays. The Voice Of Democracy theme was “American History: Our Hope For The Future.” Results are: 3rd place, Lilli Mason, representing Venango Post 169; 2nd place, Isaac Bowens, representing Titusville Post 5958; and 1st place, Bradley Forkl, representing Titusville Post 5958. The 2017/2018 VFW 28th District Teacher of The Year is Nathan Albert of Maplewood High School. Albert was nominated by Titusville VFW Post 5958. These are the VFW 28th District judging results only. Up next is VFW Pennsylvania, State, then VFW National Judging. The Voice of Democracy Essay contest had 252 students submit, nine posts advanced 30 winners for District judging.

Veterans Legislation Roundup

Congress recently passed three pieces of legislation supported by the VFW – S 1393, the Jobs for Our Heroes Act; S 925, the Veterans E-Health and Telemedicine Support (VETS) Act of 2017; and H.R. 4232, Supporting Veterans in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Careers Act. S.1393 amends existing law in order to allow VA physicians and nurse practitioners to provide medical certifications to veterans who currently operate or wish to operate commercial vehicles. Additionally, it applies commercial driver’s license standards for former members of the armed forces to current members. Passed by both the House and Senate, this bill now goes to the president. S.925, passed by the Senate, amends Title 38 to improve the ability of licensed health care professionals employed by VA to treat veterans via telemedicine at any location in any state, regardless of where the professional and patient are located. H.R. 4323, passed by the House, directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to promote veteran involvement in STEM education, computer science and scientific research by increasing outreach to veterans and by expanding certain NSF scholarships, grants and fellowship opportunities to veterans and military families.

POW/MIA Update

Army Sgt. 1st Class Eugene J. Colley, 48, of Edenton, N.C., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Jan. 9 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. Colley was among 1,300 members of the RCT killed or captured in enemy territory and was declared missing on Dec. 2, 1950.

Till next week, praying for all service members.

– Charles Castelluccio