Thanking Our Veterans
Thanking Our Veterans

Throughout the nation this weekend, communities will pay tribute to veterans with a variety of parades, ceremonies and dedications.

This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice which ended World War I, on the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month. President Woodrow Wilson declared a national day to commemorate the armistice a year later in 1919. That has since become Veterans Day.

The sacrifices these men and women make – all to protect our freedoms and our way of life – can never truly be repaid. We are forever in their debt, and we continue to be grateful for all they do.

For more about the history of Veterans Day, click here.
Veterans in the Capitol


Throughout this year, we have honored many veterans and active-duty military personnel in the Capitol. My colleague, Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk), is currently deployed in Kuwait and was recently promoted to major in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. All of us in the House are proud of Rep. Gabler’s service to our country and the leadership he is demonstrating while on deployment.


Earlier this year, thousands of Pennsylvanians visited The Wall That Heals, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., on the grounds of the State Capitol Complex. The memorial was on display from May 9-13. You can learn more about the memorial here.


This April the House unanimously adopted a resolution co-sponsored by state Reps. Stephen Kinsey (D-Philadelphia) and Harry Lewis (R-Chester) to pay tribute and honor the Tuskegee Airmen. We hosted representatives from the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen on the floor.
New Laws to Benefit Military and Veterans

This session we passed several new laws designed to help veterans and their families. Included among these laws are:                                   
  • Act 108: Allows motorcycles to display a special license plate for Purple Heart recipients and creates a new special license plate for recipients of the Legion of Merit.

  • Act 119: Requires public school entities to provide support services and information to a student when a parent or guardian is deployed for active duty.

  • Act 139: Adds one-star and two-star active duty retired generals to the appointee options for the Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission and requires that an individual who is appointed as an active duty retired general be a resident of the Commonwealth.

  • Act 149: Helps raise additional funds for veterans’ programs and services by allowing applicants of a two-year vehicle registration to double their donation to the Veterans Trust Fund, when completed online.

These new laws are in addition to the Stolen Valor Law, Act 9 of 2017, which was also enacted this session. This law makes it a crime for someone to misrepresent military service or honors for the purpose of fraudulently attempting to obtain money, property or other benefits.
Local Doctor Named Everyday Hero


This week, my wife, Lidia, and I were able to help honor constituent and dear friend Dr. Kathy Osten with this month's Pennsylvania Medical Society’s Everyday Hero Award along with her husband, Sam. Dr. Osten was recognized for her commitment to helping her patients achieve their goals and her dedication to improving the community’s overall health. She is also a veteran, having served in the Air Force as a physician at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, TX. She was deployed twice, including a deployment to Cuba where she provided care for Cuban and Haitian refugees.
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