County Living

HomeCounty Living ( May 25, 2022 )

A Narrative Essay - Chair of Honor

By Tina Haggerty

(EDITOR'S NOTE: We chose to run the following narrative so our readers would have the necessary information to understand how any interested party would go about acquiring a POW/MIA Chair of Honor. See also the follow-on story.)

It was a cold Sunday in February and little did I know I was going to see something that was so heartfelt, I was going to have to find a way to get it for our American Legion Post. I was headed to an American Legion Auxiliary meeting in Moscow, PA. As a District President, it is an exhilarating feeling to be asked to attend a meeting, and before I went to this meeting, I went for breakfast at a restaurant called "The Mess Hall." What a place this is to see! Everywhere you look there is something military related. As owner Kelly Borelli told me, "I do this for my father, a Vietnam Veteran, and all veterans." As I was leaving, in a corner, I spotted this chair. I asked her what it signified, and she said, "You haven't heard of this?" When I replied that I hadn't, she explained to me that it was a POW-MIA Chair of Honor, and it meant there would always be a seat there at The Mess Hall for any POW-MIA. It is promoted by the Rolling Thunder.

I knew right then and there I had to get a Chair of Honor for our Post, and when I asked her how to go about doing it, she gave me her number, and I told her I would call her the next day. I called her first thing in the morning, and she gave me the names of Hussey-Seating, where we could acquire the chair, and Patrick J. Hughes, the National Photographer in the Rolling Thunder, and a Vietnam Veteran. I went on the website to Hussey Seating and emailed them a story of three of our own members who were POWs in World War II, impatiently and excitedly waiting for them to get back in touch with me. I then went on Patrick J Hughes's website and entered all the information needed. Within five minutes he called me, and we spoke for quite a while about how to get this chair. Patrick even sent me a sample ceremony for the dedication and advised me on what to add to the ceremony. He also gave me dates that he was available to attend the dedication.

Once I got that set, I spoke with Ron from Hussey Seating and ordered the chair for our Post. He explained to me that the Chair was $200, and shipping was $200, but that if we would advertise, they waive the cost of the chair and only ask that we pay shipping. I told the Auxiliary members all the information; they were so excited to get this Chair of Honor and dedicate to our Legion Post and our Veterans. The members stated that this is the least we could do for our veterans; they gave up so much for us. After four weeks, the chair was delivered– what a relief this was really going to happen! In the meantime, Patrick Hughes and I kept in touch weekly, he mentioned his friend, Ralph Galati, a POW from the Vietnam war. Patrick gave me Ralph's information to see if he would like to attend our event and speak. I contacted him, he responded absolutely. It was all coming together.

Now, we needed to get everything together for the chair. We needed to get a platform built, and we decided to carpet the platform. We, the Auxiliary, asked our Commander where we could put the chair, so we searched our post and found the perfect spot, right next to the POW-MIA Table. The Auxiliary purchased a plaque, stanchion posts, velvet ropes, new flag stands and flags – both a United States of America flag and a POW-MIA flag. The Commander and I worked together to get the people needed to participate in the ceremony. I added the roll call of the missing to the ceremony to make our dedication even more meaningful. We had the local newspapers there and we were lucky enough to have a news crew there from WBRE. This was really going to be a big deal for our POW-MIAs, for our Post to have this Chair.

Unfortunately, COVID-19, still had a hold on us. The day before the ceremony, Ralph Galati called and told me the bad news that he has been struck with COVID-19. He sent his speech and asked if someone would read his speech, we complied and had our adjutant read his speech. It was so touching. He explained about the POW-MIAs, he mentioned how The Pledge of Allegiance, our National Anthem, the song God Bless America, and Church Services were forbidden to be discussed or performed, but those are the things that mattered most to the POWs, and regardless of the punishment or consequences, they proudly recited them. He mentioned as captives, their new mission was to resist the enemy to every extent possible, and they couldn't give up because their fellow comrades were fighting for them and searching for them. He then explained how he felt about the Chair of Honor, and what he endured. The Auxiliary was dressed in our uniforms, blue dress pants, white shirt, and red dress jackets with our American Flag scarfs. Two of the Auxiliary members, along with Ralph Galati, unveiled the chair, and there wasn't a dry eye in the place.

We presented the plaque to the Legion along with the chair. They were very thankful and appreciative. Now, as you walk into our post, immediately on your right is the POW-MIA chair of honor, a seat so all POW-MIAs know there will always be a place for them to sit in our Post. What a fine tribute to our veterans and our 81,000 POW-MIAs, and anyone who passes by, they have no choice but to think of our POW-MIAs. All our veterans signed that blank line, not knowing if they would ever come home, and every veteran deserves the right to come home. As we remember these POW-MIAs, with this chair they know they will never be forgotten.

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Chair of Honor Program at the Hallstead/Great Bend American Legion Post 357

  • Bell rings three times at 1:00pm.
  • Sergeant at Arms calls Post to order.
  • Hall is secured, ceremony may proceed.
  • Sergeant at Arms advances the colors.

The Presentation of Arms, Post Colors, Pledge of Allegiance, Parade Rest, About Face, Colors forward March, and Chaplain invocation took place.

The official welcome:

Good afternoon, my name is Tina Haggerty, District President of Lackawanna/Susquehanna Council, and President of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 357.

Kelly Borelli, I would like to thank you for helping me get connected with Mr. Patrick Hughes, National Photographer of Rolling Thunder, after seeing this Chair in your restaurant.

Mr. Patrick Hughes, I would like to thank you for responding so quickly when I contacted you through your website. Without you, I'm not sure this all would have happened.

Thank you to all our Department Officers who were able to attend.

We are so happy to have this here, to keep the POW/MIA alive in our hearts and in our thoughts and prayers.

I would now like to introduce our special guests.

Mr. Patrick Hughes proudly served in the United States Marine Corps from July, 1966 through July, 1968 and in the Republic of South Vietnam from January, 1967 through February, 1968 with Marine Air Group 12.

His current affiliations include: Rolling Thunder® Inc. National, Marine Corps League Upper Darby Detachment #884, MODD, Vietnam Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, American Legion, and Bikers Against Child Abuse.

Unfortunately, we are still in the wraths of COVID-19 and COVID-19 has struck our next special guest, however, he sent his speech and asked if we would read it, I will now tell a little about Mr. Ralph Galati:

Ralph Galati was born and raised in Philadelphia and Delaware County, PA. He is a graduate of St. James High School (Chester, PA) class of 1966; and he received his Bachelor of Science degree from St. Joseph's University (Philadelphia, PA) in 1970 and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. As a member of the Air Force ROTC, he was a Distinguished Military Graduate.

Ralph attended USAF Flight Training in 1970 and received his Wings in 1971. He was a Weapon Systems Officer and Forward Air Controller in the F-4 Phantom aircraft and was assigned to Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand in 1971.

On February 16, 1972, he and his pilot were shot down over North Vietnam and were immediately captured and taken to Hanoi. He spent the next 14 months as a Prisoner of War. Ralph was repatriated on March 28, 1973.

Ralph served as an Officer in the USAF for eight years – as a Flight Instructor, Curriculum Developer, and at the Pentagon with the Secretary of the Air Force Office of Legislative Liaison. Ralph's military awards include: The Silver Star; The Bronze Star with Valor w/1 Oak Leaf Cluster; The Air Medal w/4 OLC; The Air Force Commendation Medal w/2 OLC; The Purple Heart w/1 OLC; The POW Medal.

Ralph was hired by IBM in 1979 and retired in 2007 as a Certified Client Executive after 28 years of service.

Ralph has also served as a University Adjunct Professor and Academic Advisor at Widener University, Cabrini College and St. Joseph's University from 1982 to 2012.

Ralph served as the Veterans Liaison for Delaware County, PA from 2011-2013. His role included outreach efforts across the county, as well as ensuring that all Delaware County veterans and their families received the benefits to which they were entitled.

Ralph was the Founder and former Director of the Office of Veterans Services at St. Joseph's University - his alma mater. The office was responsible for: Developing and implementing Small Business & Entrepreneurship Training Programs for veterans; Coordinating campus-wide programs for veterans and dependents; and Designing Career Development initiatives for veterans.

Ralph is currently retired but continues to work on Veterans issues through his position on the Board of Directors of the Delaware County Veterans Memorial Association, and the Delaware Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross. Ralph is also the inaugural Philadelphia Foundation Weinberg Fellow - working with VetJobs on improving career opportunities for Veterans and families.

Ralph has been the proud recipient of the following honors: Dr George Beichl Award - Saint Joseph's University Office of Veterans Services; Mayor's Magis Award - City of Philadelphia; Eagle, Globe and Anchor Award - Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation; Patriotism Award - Washington Crossing Foundation; Legion of Honor Gold Medallion - Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation; Freedom Medal - Delaware County Veterans Memorial Association; Themis Award - Delaware County Bar Association; Philadelphia Bowl Award - City of Philadelphia; Hall of Fame Award - Christopher Columbus Memorial Association.

Ralph has been married to his wife, Rosemary for 51 years. They have two grown children, one with a master's degree in journalism, and the other is a Medical Doctor. Ralph and Rosemary live in Wallingford, PA.

Ladies and Gentlemen, today, the American Legion Post 357, would like to recognize some of our Veteran Heroes who have fought for our freedom, and we also remember those who lost their lives and those who became Prisoners of War or Missing in Action. Would all our Veterans step forward to be acknowledged. These are our Veteran Heroes.

Ralph Galatti's letter:

A special Thank You to Tina Haggerty and the Legion Posts for their support of this POW/MIA Chair. My friend Patrick Hughes is delivering my address today – COVID struck, and I apologize for my absence. He is well known in the tri-state region for his persistent advocacy for veterans. I also want to salute the families and friends here today, especially for those Gold Star Families who have lost a loved one in combat.

To all Active Duty, Guard and Reserves and Veterans, thank you for your service. To family members, thank you for your sacrifice. For Vietnam Veterans, welcome home.

The POW/MIA Flag you see behind me was created in 1971, and adopted formally in 1972. It is modeled after an MIA husband, lost in combat in Vietnam. Of course, the POW issue did not start with Vietnam. You might remember the post-WWII movies like Stalag 17, the Great Escape and MASH. Tens of thousands of our men were held captive throughout Europe and Asia.

But the MIA issue came to the forefront most prominently with the Vietnam war. During the early part of the 20th century, it was difficult to identify lost soldiers because the military Dog Tag had not been widely used. So it was nearly impossible to separate the missing from the dead. But with the visibility of the Vietnam War, and its incessant TV coverage, the MIA issue was brought to our living rooms every day.

On the 3rd Friday in September, National POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremonies are held across the country on military installations, ships at sea, state capitols, schools and veterans' facilities. It used to be that six days throughout the year Congress has mandated the flying of the National League of Families' POW/MIA flag. It is now law that it is flown every day that the US Flag is displayed.

The POW-MIA flag is the only flag ever displayed in the US Capitol Rotunda, and the only one other than the Flag of the United States to have flown over the White House. It is permitted to be flown on the same flagpole as the US Flag.

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency is missioned to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel from past conflicts, and to serve their families and the nation. Within this mission, they search for missing personnel from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the Gulf Wars, and other recent conflicts. There are still over 80,000 Americans that remain Missing from these conflicts. More than 1500 still remain missing from Vietnam. We remember and honor all of them today.

I marvel at the POW flag & emblem which has been on display for 40 years. To continue to represent such a worthy endeavor, after so many decades and so much past hostility, is quite amazing."

I am a lucky guy. I am able to be with you today. I spent some time as a POW in North Vietnam. It was not heroic, it was far from heroic. There was nothing brave about it at all. What it was, however, was performing one's Duty with Dignity, and to Return With Honor.

It was about adhering to our Commissioning Oath, and to follow the Military Code of Conduct, a moral guide of behavior and military bearing that is significant in its wording. Article 1 of the Code is quite succinct in its message: "I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my Country and our Way of Life. I am prepared to give my Life in their Defense.

The part about "giving my life," that's a tough one! Easy to say, very difficult to execute. But, as POWs, we could and should resist the enemy to every extent possible, because as captives, that was now our new Mission.

So, as POWs, how did we demonstrate our resolve through resistance? Well, we had several tools: God Bless America; Our National Anthem; The Pledge of Allegiance; Church Services. All of these were forbidden to be discussed and performed during my POW captivity. Yet they were the very things that mattered most to us! So we proudly recited them, regardless of the punishment or consequences. Today, none of these are taken lightly. Whether it's a flag flying gently outside a building, or a song before a baseball game, the impact is still the same! We fought bravely for that, and we do not take these symbols of freedom for granted.

Let me spend a minute to talk about our Armed Forces. What is it that makes its members' call to duty so unique, so distinctively American? Well, a call to military service requires a selfless contribution and serious commitment. It demands attributes like: Loyalty, Honor, Integrity, Courage, Valor and Sacrifice. And this Service comes at a cost, because the struggle for Freedom is constant, and it's not easy! Its pain touches all of us, a friend, a neighbor, a loved one, an ancestor. No one is exempt from the toll of war, and our Armed Forces accept this challenge and risk, because they know what it takes to defend the Land of the Free. And all citizens of America have benefited from their Service. General George Patton said: "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

Jeremiah Denton, a retired Navy rear admiral and former US senator who survived nearly eight years of captivity in North Vietnamese prisons, and whose public acts of defiance and patriotism came to embody the sacrifices of American POWs in Vietnam, said, "If I had known when I was shot down that I would be there more than seven years, I would have died of despondency, of despair. But I didn't. It was one minute at a time, one hour, one week, one year and so on. If you look at it like that, anybody can do anything." And he endured.

It's about Faith, in yourself, your family, your country and your God. The will to survive is powerful, it's what sustains us. It helps us endure.

From my own POW experience, I can tell you that we were tested with physical and emotional experiences on a daily basis: fear, punishment, loneliness, starvation, boredom. However, one thing we never felt was abandonment. We strove to endure. And today's ceremony is a vivid reminder of our commitment to a full accounting of our missing, and to Never Forget.

Most POWs were also listed as MIA for a time. The pain and uncertainty that our families had to endure was horrible and debilitating, it is not something you are trained for.

Why is it important to tell you all this. Why was it so important for POWs to fight and endure such harsh treatment. Part of it is that "simple" Code of Conduct. Part is because we were military officers who now had a new mission thrust upon us, resist to the best of our ability, and return home with honor.

But mostly it was because we could do no less than to honor our fellow soldiers who fought for us, and were still fighting and dying in battle. How shameful would it be for us to act helplessly, when we knew so many were fighting to save us.

How could we live with ourselves after so many lives were lost. How could we not give our all each day, just like all American Servicemen were doing.

I continue to get the opportunity to speak at military, veteran and civilian events. And who is present at every event, Vietnam Veterans. Amazing the irony that today, those who help us remember most, are those who were most forgotten. They will never let us forget.

I was "coined" by one of those Veterans, and the inscription on the coin says it all, "We have your backs here at home. Never again will an American warrior be scorned or ignored.

The third verse of Amazing Grace was a powerful statement for me, and resonates for me more today than it did when I was a POW in 1972, "Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come;'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.

Once again, faith and endurance.

And so today we dedicate this Chair of Honor. It has been over 10 years since this program began, and now there are thousands of placements across the country. One of our own Veterans, Patrick Hughes, has placed over 100 in our region. He has said, "To all who see them, this Empty Chair will serve as an instant reminder of all the sacrifices made for 'Our Country' by these still missing American servicemen who have for too long been forgotten by all but their immediate families and some close friends". Thank you, Patrick.

And so, on behalf of my fellow POWs: From WWI to today – more than 130,000 strong, and for my MIA brothers-in-arms: From conflicts throughout the 20th century, 80,000 awaiting a return home, to all of you for living by the creed, "You Will Not Be Forgotten." Thank you for remembering.

We will now conduct the roll call of the missing:

Officer of the day

Sir

I am about to conduct the roll call of the United States Military Personnel, if any fail to respond will you vouch for their whereabouts

Yes Sir

72,729 World War II personnel

Ringing of the bell.

Not present sir

Where are they

Missing in Action sir

When and where were they last seen

Prior to the end of World War II, in 1945 in Europe, Asia, North Africa, Pacific Islands, the Atlantic, and in virtually every continent and ocean in the world sir

7,662 Korean War Personnel

Ringing of the bell.

Not Present sir

Where are they

Missing in Action sir

When are where were they last seen

Prior to the cease fire in 1953, mostly in the Korean Peninsula, however many have been reported to be seen in China and the former Soviet Union sir

1,589 Vietnam War Personnel

Ringing of the bell.

Not present sir

Where are they

Missing in Action sir

When and where were they last seen

Prior to Operation Homecoming in 1973 in South Vietnam, North Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and the former Soviet Union, however many have been seen alive in captivity since then sir

126 Cold War Personnel

Ringing of the bell.

Not Present sir

Where are they

Missing in Action sir

When and where were they last seen

Worldwide somewhere between the end of World War II in 1945 and 1989 when Berlin Wall was tore down

6 Personnel of the War on Terrorism

Ringing of the bell.

Not Present sir

Where are they

Missing in Action sir

When and where were they last seen

Libya, Afghanistan, Persian Gulf, Iraq

Very good Officer, Dismissed

They face each other and salute.

This concludes our roll call of military personnel.

We will now unveil the chair.

Presentation of the plaque.

The plaque reads: You are not forgotten, since World War II more than 81,000 US Service personnel are unaccounted for.

"This Empty Chair will serve as an immediate reminder of all the sacrifices made for 'Our Country' by these still missing US Service personnel who have for too long been forgotten, by all, but their immediate families and close friends."

There will always be a seat for them in this post.

"America's Veteran's are the Purchasers' of Peace, and every Veteran has earned the Right, the Absolute Right to Come Home."

We are pleased that this chair will sit permanently here, at this Post to remind anyone who passes this chair that we are still missing troops and that we still want them accounted for, we want them returned home.

The Benediction was read, all involved were called to attention and Salute, Taps was played and all were thanked for coming.

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Born To Show 4-H Club Holds Food Drive

Submitted by Sophia Bianchi

On April 2nd and 3rd, 2022, the Born To Show 4-H Club completed a Community Service Food Drive at Scarfalloto's in Montrose, Pennsylvania. It was a well organized event that was very successful for our local 4-H club and our community.

For the actual Food Drive event, Born To Show club participants and families signed up for specific time slots, stood in front of the local grocery store, and asked fellow community members to donate food and non-food items from a wish list to help families in our own local community.

Born to Show 4-H Club members gave shoppers a list of most desired food and non-food items and many shoppers filled bags full of food, baby items and hygiene products. Some people generously gave monetary donations and then our club participants would use the donated funds to shop for items on the lists It's important to note, that all donations collected were to be to given to local families in need. An example of items on the food list included peanut butter, jelly, soup, tuna, pasta and sauce and baby foods. Some items on the non-food list included soap, laundry detergent, trash bags, feminine hygiene products, diapers and baby wipes and pet foods.

Overall, it was a very successful two days. The Born To Show 4-H Club was overwhelmed with an outpouring of generosity and support during our food drive. Our club was able to collect many pounds of products. At the end of the first day, we filled a big SUV with so many bags full of wish-list items. At the end of the second day, we had another full SUV. In 2 days, our Born To Show 4-H Club participants, who partnered with our community, were able to donate a total of 519 pounds of food and 127 pounds of non-food items. All items were donated and delivered to Trehab in Montrose and all items will help fellow community members who are in need.

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PASR Recognizes Janet F. Small

Submitted by Bob McNamara

At the Susquehanna County Chapter of Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees (PASR) meeting, Janet F. Small was awarded a PASR Commendation for faithfully serving the retired school employees of the Susquehanna County Chapter, while also providing extraordinary service to PASR Region 3, which includes 12 counties in Northeastern Pennsylvania. This recognition is a once in a lifetime presentation provided by the PASR Board of Directors based on a recommendation by the chapter president and the region director. Our organization has been blessed and inspired by her extraordinary record of service.

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White Elephant Sale Needs Your Help

Submitted by Cindy Reynolds

For seven long months starting in the deep, dark, cold of winter planning began for the Blueberry Festival.

Organizing the festival is really like putting a puzzle together. Over the next few months, you will be hearing just what these pieces are, and what it takes to bring them all together for the ultimate successful result.

One of these pieces, and a huge one, is the White Elephant Sale. Connie Page chaired the White Elephant Sale for many years. She took this daunting task and with the help of many volunteers turned it into a success, year after year. If you see Connie, please be sure to thank her for her years of service. She has now handed over the gauntlet to Paula Catlin.

Paula is not a stranger to the Blueberry Festival or the White Elephant Sale. Her first experience volunteering at the festival was with the Jr. Women's Group. At that time, their group took charge of children's games. Over the years Paula volunteered in several different positions, which eventually evolved into her taking charge of the jewelry portion of the White Elephant Sale.

Much of the success of the White Elephant Sale depends on you! Paula says, "Now is the time of year that people are doing their spring cleaning. We hope they keep us in mind."

Some of the best sellers at the White Elephant Sale are dishes, pots, pans, and toys! Other great ideas are china, glassware, tools, table linens, kitchen gadgets, and yard and garden tools. Donated appliances must be in working order and in good condition.

Some items will not be accepted which include clothes, bedding, electronics, exercise equipment, TVs and sharp implements.

A wise man once said, "If you wouldn't buy it, don't bring it". Remember this when choosing things to donate.

When can donations be made? Beginning June 21, 2022, donations can be made on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9:00am to 2:00pm. Please put these dates on your calendar.

Where do I take my donations? Rodolfo Scarfalloto, of Scarfalloto's Hometown Market, has generously offered space in the Plaza, (located at the lower end near Smokin Joe's), to take your donations for the White Elephant Sale.

Volunteers, the festival hinges on you. Young, middle-aged, and beyond, we need all of you! Volunteer for one day or several, we are not picky. Whatever works for you works for us!

Have you ever stopped to think, how does all the "stuff," being sold at the White Elephant Sale get there? It has to be moved from the plaza where it is being stored, to two bays the United Fire Company provides and where the sale is held. Some of this is heavy, very heavy, and there is a lot of it.

Paula would like to challenge some of the younger folks out there to gather their friends and reach out to her to volunteer. It will be a fun time and will be very much appreciated.

If you would like to volunteer to help with the White Elephant Sale, please email Paula Catlin at: paulacatlin1@gmail.com.

What happens to the items that are not sold? The Salvation Army comes and picks them up; they are not thrown away.

All proceeds from the Blueberry Festival benefit the Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library System, which has branches in Forest City, Hallstead-Great Bend, Montrose, and Susquehanna, as well as the Historical Society Museum in Montrose. All of these depend on more funding than what the state, county and local governments provide.

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Senior Farmers' Market Program

Submitted by Michael Taylor, Community Services Coordinator

The Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program, beginning June 1, provides $24.00 in vouchers for fresh Pennsylvania produce to eligible seniors. You may qualify if you are a Pennsylvania resident age 60 or older, or turning 60 by December 31, 2022, and meet income criteria. An individual with yearly income less than $25,142 and couples with combined yearly income less than $33,874 meet income eligibility criteria.

Vouchers will be available at offices of B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging, Inc. on or after June 1, 2021. Vouchers are also able to be distributed by mail. Applications are available online at bsstaaa.org, and by mail as requested.

For more information or to request an application, please visit bsstaaa.org or call 1-800-634-3746.

The Farmers' Market Nutrition Program and the B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging, Inc. are funded in part by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the United Way of Bradford County; the United Way of Susquehanna County; the Lycoming County United Way serving Wellsboro and Southern Tioga County, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. For additional information on Area Agency on Aging services, please call 1-800-982-4346.

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Jennifer Spitler Gets PA DMVA Award

Governor Tom Wolf presented 12 members of the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) with Governor's Awards for Excellence for their work to improve the lives of Pennsylvania's nearly 800,000 veterans, the fourth largest veteran population in the nation.

The awards recognize commonwealth employees for exemplary job performance or service that reflects initiative, leadership, innovation, and increased efficiency. The DMVA 12 employees are among 50 award recipients across 12 agencies honored for their exceptional accomplishments in 2021.

"I am so proud of our twelve employees who have earned this prestigious award. Our dedicated workforce strives daily to improve the lives of veterans and their families. Today they are recognized for their excellence," said Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania's adjutant general and head of the DMVA. "This diverse group of employees exemplify our mission of serving those that served. Congratulations and well done!"

Ten members of DMVA's veteran outreach team are being recognized for their dedicated advocacy and networking across the commonwealth. Jennifer Spitler, of Thompson, was among those honored.

Veterans and their family members face a wide variety of needs after their service, from reintegration to civilian life to aging-related concerns. There are many programs and support services that can be leveraged to address these varied needs, but only work if veterans know they exist. That is where DMVA's energetic and focused veteran outreach team has excelled. The team has successfully removed barriers to these services by uncovering, raising awareness of, and streamlining connection to resources across the commonwealth. They have done this primarily through an innovative DMVA initiative called PA VETConnect, an outreach program allowing DMVA to concentrate on delivering services from within the communities where veterans live. It also allows DMVA to utilize community-based providers to fill gaps in services. Thanks to PA VETConnect and these dedicated employees, thousands of veterans are getting the services they need and living better lives.

Learn more about the DMVA by visiting us online at www.dmva.pa.gov or follow us at www.facebook.com/padmva or www.twitter.com/padmva.

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May Is Military Appreciation Month

Submitted by Meg Rossman

The American Red Cross provides support to our US military community at every step of their career –  from the time a service member takes their oath to navigating life as a veteran and each event in between. You can find American Red Cross support of military communities across the globe at military hospitals, on installations locally and overseas and through local chapter offices in every state.

This month, the American Red Cross is inviting people around the country to turn 'Thank you for your service' into action. For those with a military background or just a heart for military and veteran communities, opportunities to volunteer and support are available in the Southern Tier region.

"Military families experience emergencies, just like civilian families," said Lisa Taibi, Regional Program Manager, Service to the Armed Forces & International Services, "except oftentimes they go through a crisis separated from a family member who is deployed. Handling an emergency without your support system can be challenging, but Red Cross volunteers make a huge difference in the lives of our military families through emergency relief."

The Red Cross Hero Care Network is a free 24/7 support system for military and veteran families when they are facing life-changing events like the birth of a child, the death of a loved one, a medical emergency or even a financial crisis. The Red Cross is the only organization to provide this emergency messaging service to separated and active-duty military families.

In the past fiscal year, Red Cross of Western New York Service to the Armed Forces volunteers have continued to support VA Hospitals within our 27-county footprint through numerous initiatives including garden, music and art therapy programs, clothing for inpatient and homeless veterans, full-size hygiene items, as well as various supplies for homeless veterans' programs.

The Red Cross also conducts free mental wellness courses, called Resiliency Workshops, for military and veteran families.

Turn your appreciation into action by volunteering with the Red Cross today. To learn more, visit redcross.org/volunteer or contact your local Red Cross chapter to learn about open availabilities.

Visit www.redcross.org/saf for full information about programs that support military communities.

Generous donations from Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces Giving Program (SAFGP) members enable the American Red Cross to maintain a global network of thousands of volunteers and employees to support the military 365 days a year through emergency communications, training, community resources and support to ill and injured service members and veterans. Contributions from partners like Lockheed Martin Corporation, Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co., USAA and Wilf Family Foundations ensure the Red Cross is there 24/7 to provide comfort and care to members of the military, veterans and their families as they prepare for, cope with and respond to the challenges of military service.

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Court Decision To Halt Bridge Tolling

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania recently granted a preliminary injunction which stops Gov. Tom Wolf's Major Bridge P3 Initiative until further court action occurs.

Sen. Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35), chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, applauded the court's order. "Today, the Commonwealth Court ruled in favor of halting PennDOT's Major Bridge P3 Tolling Initiative. I have been challenging PennDOT's overreach since being named Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee in January 2021," said Langerholc. "The court's ruling on the preliminary injunction is restoring proper checks and balances on PennDOT's power. I now urge Gov. Wolf to work with the legislature and find a compromise that is in the best interests of the Commonwealth."

Sen. Langerholc held several hearings to better understand how PennDOT was authorized to move forward with few details and without approval from the General Assembly. Langerholc has also sponsored Senate Bill 382, which would require the P3 process to be more transparent, while stopping this current initiative.

This order halts PennDOT's tolling of the following local bridge: I-81 Susquehanna Project in Susquehanna County.

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App's For Vitale Scholarships Open

Submitted by Ann Vitale

The John J. and Ann Vitale Scholarship is now open for applications at the Community Foundation of the Endless Mountains.

Grants this year will be in the amounts of $3500, $2500, and $1500.

The applicant must have graduated from a high school in Susquehanna County and be entering their final year or semester at any college or university, earning any degree, undergraduate or graduate. The applicant must be in good standing academically and have incurred student debt.

Decisions will be made by early July and the awards made directly to the college to help defray final year expenses.

The deadline for completed applications is June 23. Application forms and requirements are available on the Community Foundation of the Endless Mountains website at community-foundation.org/scholarships. The general scholarship page does say the deadline is passed but that applies to high school scholarships. Scroll down to Narrow Your Search and enter Vitale Scholarship for the application criteria and application.

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Reader Notice

The County Transcript offices will be closed Monday, May 30th in observance of Memorial Day and will reopen Wednesday, June 1st at 8:00am.

As such, the publication deadline for the June 1st issue will be Wednesday, May 25th by 4:00pm.

Please make sure to have any publication materials submitted by the early deadline.

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Courthouse Report

The Susquehanna County DOMESTIC RELATIONS Section has outstanding BENCH WARRANTS for the following individuals as of 8:36am on May 20, 2022. Benjamin D. Fassett, Morgan A. Garcia, Charles R. Groover, Timothy J. Jackson, Danielle Norris, Jesse L. Trusky. Please contact the Domestic Relations Section at 570-278-4600 ext. 4050 with any information on the location of these individuals.

DEEDS as of 05-25-22

Branigan, Patricia A (By Atty) to Hannigan, James for $1.00 in Lenox Township.

Branigan, Patricia A (By Atty) to Hannigan, James for $1.00 in Lenox Township.

Branigan, Patricia A (By Atty) to Hannigan, James for $1.00 in Harford Township.

Schenck, Doris L (Estate AKA) and Papke, Doris (Estate) and Dean, Larry and Evans, Stephanie and Dean, Jeffrey to Barney, Patricia A and Holtsmaster, Francis H and Holtsmaster, Gary and Dymond, James and Dean, Larry for $1.00 in Lenox Township.

Cranmer, Wendy L to Pattrell, Matthew C for $205,000.00 in Little Meadows Borough.

Crossen, John D (Estate AKA) and Crossen, John Douglas (Estate) to Crossen, John D (Trustee) for $1.00 in Bridgewater Township.

Greene, Ronald and Greene, Michele to LPR Energy LLC for $1.00 in Gibson Township.

Holleran Holdings LLC and Holleran, Thomas and Holleran, Catherine to Finnerty, Christopher R and Finnerty, Jennifer L for $179,000.00 in New Milford Township.

Mitchell, Susan J to Rose, Sharon and Leach, Laurie Rose for $1.00 in Silver Lake Township.

Quit Claim: Richards, Stanton Grant to Rose, Sharon and Leach, Laurie Rose for $1.00 in Silver Lake Township.

Quit Claim: Batts, Linda K to Rose, Sharon and Leach, Laurie Rose for $1.00 in Silver Lake Township.

Quit Claim: Potter, Allan M to Rose, Sharon and Leach, Laurie Rose for $1.00 in Silver Lake Township.

Quit Claim: Hagemeister, Carole to Rose, Sharon and Leach, Laurie Rose for $1.00 in Silver Lake Township.

Quit Claim: Rose, Deborah L to Rose, Sharon and Leach, Laurie Rose for $1.00 in Silver Lake Township.

Quit Claim: Rose, Edward L IV to Rose, Sharon and Leach, Laurie Rose for $1.00 in Silver Lake Township.

Quit Claim: Cerow, Laura Lee to Rose, Sharon and Leach, Laurie Rose for $1.00 in Silver Lake Township.

Quit Claim: Rose, Terese to Rose, Sharon and Leach, Laurie Rose for $1.00 in Silver Lake Township.

Quit Claim: Chambers, T Charles to Rose, Sharon and Leach, Laurie Rose for $1.00 in Silver Lake Township.

Quit Claim: Phelps, Amy K to Rose, Sharon and Leach, Laurie Rose for $1.00 in Silver Lake Township.

Quit Claim: Kane, Andrew to Rose, Sharon and Leach, Laurie Rose for $1.00 in Silver Lake Township.

Birchard, Rodney, A and Birchard, Sarah A to Birchard, Sarah A for $1.00 in Montrose 2W.

Wells Fargo Bank to Rinaldi, Robert Allen for $105,070.00 in Hop Bottom Borough.

Serfilippi Enterprises LLC to Winter, Randy and Winter, Kara for $163,000.00 in New Milford Borough.

Mineral: Jorgensen, M Kyra to Jorgensen, M Kyra (Trust) for $1.00 in Brooklyn Township.

Fannie Mae (AKA) and Federal National Mortgage Association to Bigelow, Edward for $75,000.00 in Susquehanna.

Maskaly, Julie H to Maskaly, Jason L for $1.00 in Franklin Township.

Maskaly, Jason L and Maskaly, Julie H to Maskaly, Jocelyn H and Maskaly, Nicholas L for $1.00 in New Milford Borough.

Stone, Warren L and Stone, Dolores to Stone, Jeremy S for $1.00 in Ararat Township.

Meyers, Allison A to Warner, Wyatt and Guinane, Emily for $42,000.00 in Auburn Township.

Sheriff's Deed: Corey, Orson A (By Sheriffs) to PennyMac Loan Services LLC for $5,526.02 in Hallstead Borough.

McClain, Leah J to Esposito, Frank and Esposito, Cherie for $20,000.00 in Ararat Township.

Smith, Kenneth to Wilber, Adam D and Wilbur, Lindsey R for $35,000.00 in Franklin Township.

Hydocarbon: Sickler, Scott P to Bridge Minerals LLC for $9,280.00, two locations in Springville Township.

Ellis, David D to Lane, Denise for $1.00 in Silver Lake Township.

Stone, Warren L and Stone, Dolores to Stone, Jeremy S for $1.00 in Ararat Township.

Jervis, Donna L and Jervis, Steven to Jervis, Steven and Jervis, Donna L for $1.00 in Bridgewater Township.

Interval No 13 Unit No 25: Hensley, James K and Hensley, Susan W to Bremer Hof Owners Inc for $100.00 in Herrick Township.

Harris, Kimberly M and Harris, Jesse Kane to Harris, Kimberly M and Harris, Jesse Kane and Helms, Rae Jean for $1.00 in Bridgewater Township.

Miller, Aaron and Miller, Lynn to Druss, Jay and Druss, Jessica and Route, Melvin Jr for $45,000.00 in Rush Township.

Kintzer, John S and Kintzer, Antonia F and Kintzer, John A and Kintzer, Erin B to Kintzer, John A and Kintzer, Erin B for $1.00 in Herrick Township.

Rockefeller, Gordon N to Rockefeller, Gordon N and Rockefeller, Susan M for $1.00 in Middletown Township.

Orsi, Joan H (Estate) to Longo, Mark and Longo, Marte for $1.00 in Brooklyn Township.

Decker, Michael and Decker, Kerry to Taylor, Meghan and Taylor, Melanie for $262,500.00 in Rush Township.

VanHorn, Kenneth to VanHorn, Kenneth for $1.00 in Clifford Township.

Skiba, Sandra M (NBM) and Varsik, Sandra M and Varsik, Joseph E Jr to Varsik, Sandra M and Varsik, Joseph E Jr for $1.00 in Susquehanna.

McLeod, Wendell W and McLeod, Mary C to Bremer Hof Owners Inc for $100.00 in Herrick Township.

Nota, Dennis to Sarkisian, Jessica for $650,000.00 in Franklin Township.

Perez, Nicholas J Jr to Perez, Nicole (NBM) and Harris, Nicole and Harris, Joshua for $1.00 in Springville Township.

Close to the Edge Properties LLC to Czerklanska, Emila for $1.00 in Ararat Township.

Zukoski, Michael and Zukoski, Susan Ann (AKA) and Zukoski, Susan to Cebular, Raymond E for $35,000.00 in Oakland Borough.

Maron, Mary Ann (Estate) to Maron, Ronald J and Maron, Lori L for $1.00 in Auburn Township.

Westfall, Jan (Trust) to Westfall, Gerard T and Westfall, Kevin J and Catanzarita, Megan and Martin, Beth for $1.00 in New Milford Township.

Welles, Mabel to Hunsinger, Dewey Bryon Jr and Hunsinger, Patricia for $1.00 in Dimock Township.

Hughes, Dennis R and Hughes, Zuzanna M to Pedrick, Merritt W III and Pedrick, Gloria for $1.00 in Harford Township.

Cosmello, Dominick G and Cosmello, Alexis M Axtell to Cosmello, Dominick G and Cosmello, Alexis M for $1.00 in New Milford Township.

Pisani, Frank and Pisani, Joan M to Pisani, Frank (Trust) and Pisani, Joan M (Trust) for $1.00 in Thompson Township.

Leighter Corporation to Scott Rosenkrans Properties LLC for $150,000.00 in Bridgewater Township.

Creekside Investment Group LLC to Tobon Cruz, Jorge Armando and Montiel Frenandez, Blanca Esther for $20,000.00 in Harford Township.

Hurley, Dennis A and Hurley, Janet W to Krug, Matthew for $75,000.00 in Thompson Township.

Mineral, Oil and Gas: Squier, Jesse H (Estate) to Smith, Elizabeth for $1.00, two locations in Dimock Township.

Mineral, Oil and Gas: Squier, Jesse H (Estate) to Squier, Jared for $1.00, two locations in Dimock Township.

Mineral, Oil and Gas: Squier, Jesse H (Estate) to Squier, Jesse J for $1.00, two locations in Dimock Township.

Mineral, Oil and Gas: Squier, Jesse H (Estate) to Orzolek, Dorell for $1.00, two locations in Dimock Township.

Susquehanna Real State I Corporation to Bear Creek Properties Inc for $54,900.00 in Springville Township.

Gregard LLC to Segura, Rosalind for $50,000.00 in Susquehanna.

Gregard LLC to Cina, Kristen for $100,000.00 in Susquehanna.

Heath, David and Heath, Sharon and Ogozaly, Matthew to Heath, David for $1.00 in Clifford Township.

Malloy, Frederick J and Malloy, Malisa to Peck, Kevin and Peck, Teresa for $390,000.00 in Bridgewater Township.

Nozza, Daniel Jr and Nozza, Joseph to Nozza, Joseph P and Nozza, Nikki J for $1.00 in Jackson Township.

Franks, Ronald A and Franks, Melissa to Pierce, James and Pierce, Jacquelyn for $180,000.00 in Clifford Township.

Ferguson, Joann (FKA) and Clemo, Joann to Ferguson, Scott and Ferguson, Joann for $1.00 in Uniondale Borough.

Bennett, Leona to Bennett, Leona for $1.00 in Lenox Township.

Wells, Cody J and Wells, Emily to Harris, David N for $100,000.00 in Great Bend Borough.

Adee, Amy and Adee, Brandon to Rosenberg, Donna Marie and Rosenberg, Jerry for $121,900.00 in Hallstead Borough.

Weidow, Timothy and Weidow, Brooke to Powell, Barbara A and Powell, Lynn R for $8,000.00 in Forest Lake Township.

Dwyer, Shawn and Dwyer, Kevin Stephen (Estate) and Dwyer, Stephen (AKA) to Maseychik, Joseph B and Maseychik, Amy J for $110,000.00 in Forest City.

Raub, William S to Raub, Christopher D for $1.00 in Lenox Township.

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Susquehanna County Sentencing

Following are March, 2022 sentences as handed down by Susquehanna County Court, continued from last week's issue of the County Transcript from May 18, 2022.

Edmond C Hegedty, 45, of Hop Bottom, PA to 12 months of probation, pay a $150 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 Act 198 fee, obtain a drug and alcohol evaluation, not to utilize alcohol or controlled substances without a valid prescription while on supervision, not to enter any establishment whose primary purpose is the sale of alcohol, be subject to random drug and alcohol screenings, perform 10 hours of community service, abide by the standard terms and conditions of supervision for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia on February 14, 2021 in Great Bend Township. Mr. Hegedty also received 12 months of probation to run concurrent with the above sentence, pay a $150 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 Act 198 fee, obtain a drug and alcohol evaluation, not to utilize alcohol or controlled substances while on supervision without a valid prescription, not to enter any establishment whose primary purpose is the sale of alcohol, be subject to random drug and alcohol screenings, perform 10 hours of community service, abide by the standard terms and conditions of supervision for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia on June 29, 2021 in Hop Bottom Borough.

Steven Tyler Skeen, 28, of Browndale, PA to pay a $200 fine, cost of prosecution and $100 Act 198 fee for Possession of a Controlled Substance on June 19, 2020 in Forest City Borough. Mr. Skeen was also ordered to pay a $200 fine and the cost of prosecution for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia on June 19, 2020 in Forest City Borough. Mr. Skeen also received 9 months to 24 months in a state correctional facility, with credit for time served, to run concurrent with his sentence out of Lackawanna County, pay a $200 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee for Flight to Avoid Apprehension on November 1, 2020 in Forest City Borough. Lastly, Mr. Skeen received 9 months to 36 months in a state correctional facility, to run concurrent with his Lackawanna County sentence as well as the sentence above, pay a $200 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay restitution to the victim in this case for Receiving Stolen Property on July 30, 2021 in Clifford Township.

Stephani Peck, 37, of Montrose, PA to 5 years of probation, pay a $100 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, submit a DNA sample and pay the $250 testing fee, obtain a drug and alcohol evaluation, obtain a mental health evaluation, not to utilize alcohol or controlled substances while on supervision, not to enter any establishment whose primary purpose is the sale of alcohol, be subject to random drug and alcohol screenings, not to possess firearms while on supervision, abide by the standard terms and conditions of supervision for Firearms Carried without a License on March 12, 2021 in Jessup Township. Ms. Peck also received 24 months of probation to run concurrent with the above sentence, pay a $50 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, obtain a drug and alcohol evaluation, obtain a mental health evaluation, not to utilize alcohol or controlled substances while on supervision, not to enter any establishment whose primary purpose is the sale of alcohol, be subject to random drug and alcohol screenings, abide by the standard terms and conditions of supervision for Institutional Vandalism on August 17, 2020 in New Milford Township. Lastly, Ms. Peck received 30 days to 23 ½ months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, with credit for time served, to run concurrent with the above sentences, pay a $50 fine, pay cost of prosecution, obtain a drug and alcohol evaluation, obtain a mental health evaluation, not to utilize alcohol or controlled substances while on supervision, not to enter any establishment whose primary purpose is the sale of alcohol, be subject to random drug and alcohol screenings, abide by the standard terms and conditions of supervision for Criminal Attempt/Escape on August 17, 2020 in New Milford Township.

Kyle Lucas Earley, 38, of Kingsley, PA to pay a $25 fine and cost of prosecution for Operating a Vehicle without a Valid Inspection on July 28, 2021 in Harford Township.

The following were accepted into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program: Lindsay Priscil Granick, Edward Albert Stone, John Edward McNamara, Stephen E Catalfamo, Miles Donovan Rush, Mohamed Kader Kone, Charles Clyde Ewins, Valerie Lynn Bauer.

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