HAWLEY— Wayne and Pike County veterans are invited to a "Help for Heroes" Town Hall meeting sponsored by Senator Lisa Baker, with support from Bold Gold Media, where they can meet the Commonwealth's leading experts in veterans' services and ask questions about programs and benefits.
The free, two-part session will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, May 16 at the PPL Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center, 126 PPL Drive, in Hawley.
"As more service members return from Iraq and Afghanistan and our older veterans require a higher level of care, the need for information and exchanges such as this one are growing as well," said Baker, who chairs the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. "Veterans often tell us that they are facing red tape, a confusing network of services, and long delays at the federal level. The goal of this event is to cut through the confusion and provide convenient, customized service to those who have served this nation so unselfishly."
The first session, which will run from 9 to 10:30 a.m., will allow veterans and their families to visit informational tables and talk to program providers including the Veterans Administration, the Wayne and Pike Counties Veterans Affairs directors and the American Red Cross.
Representatives Rosemary Brown, Sandy Major and Mike Peifer, Congressman Tom Marino and Senator Pat Toomey will also host displays. A VFW Veterans Service Officer will be available to answer benefits questions, and the VA Mobile Vets Center will offer counseling services.
The second session, which runs from 10:30 a.m. to noon, will feature brief remarks from Sen. Baker; Brigadier Gen. Michael Gould, Deputy Adjutant General for Veterans' Affairs at the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and founder of the Pennsylvania Veterans Foundation; Deshawn Lewis, Director of the Bureau of Small Business Opportunities at the Department of General Services; and Mark Bayliss of VALOR Clinic Foundation.
A question-and-answer session moderated by Bold Gold Media's Mikki Uzupes will follow these brief remarks.
Members of the Gino Merli Veterans' Center has also been invited to attend, along with the American Legion, the VFW and other veterans' groups. Additional organizations wishing to participate can call Senator Baker's office at (570) 226-5960.
"These information-packed sessions will allow veterans to meet others with shared experiences and talk face-to-face with the experts who serve them at the local, state and federal levels," Baker said.