Senator Phillips-Hill E-Newsletter

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If you know a Veteran, please forward this issue to him or her as it provides important updates, resources, and information.

In this Update:

  • Senate Honors WWII Veteran Cpl. Benjamin Berry
  • York County Honors Fallen Heroes Over Memorial Day Weekend
  • National Cemetery Administration Adds Options for Commemorative Plaques and Urns
  • Successful 7th Annual Car and Bike Show Honors Veterans
  • Honoring Heroes at 12th Annual Fallen Heroes Ride
  • VA Expands Health Care Coverage to Veteran Family Members, Caregivers Through CHAMPVA
  • New Website for Veterans, VA Customers Ordering Contact Lenses
  • New VA Grant Program to Help with Transition from Military to Civilian Life
  • Veterans Job Listing
  • What are Vet Centers?
  • Who is Eligible to Receive Services at Vet Centers?
  • Contacting Your Local Vet Center

Senate Honors WWII Veteran Cpl. Benjamin Berry

One of the highlights this week was to spend a few minutes speaking with Cpl. Benjamin Berry, a 100-year-old World War II Veteran. Cpl. Berry’s service during World War II took him to the Battle of the Bulge, which was the deadliest battle of the war.

To be in the presence of the Greatest Generation is incredibly humbling and serves as a valuable reminder that we are here today because of their service more than 80 years ago.

Read more about Cpl. Berry’s service here.

York County Honors Fallen Heroes Over Memorial Day Weekend 

This past Memorial Day weekend, York County residents united to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Our community’s gratitude and respect were evident from East Prospect on Sunday to Hanover, Glen Rock, and Wrightsville on Monday.

The collective effort to remember the sacrifice was both touching and inspiring, showcasing our community that truly values and honors our Veterans. These Memorial Day events served as a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made for our freedom and the enduring spirit of gratitude that binds us all. May we never forget that freedom is not free.

You can find photos from these events on my Facebook here.

National Cemetery Administration Adds Options for Commemorative Plaques and Urns

Beginning June 10, families of deceased and cremated veterans may apply to receive commemorative plaques or urns from the VA if they do not want to inter their loved ones in a VA national cemetery or receive a government-furnished headstone, marker or medallion for placement in any cemetery.

Commemorative urns are used to hold the remains of a deceased, cremated veteran, and commemorative plaques are designed to hang on a wall. Both the urns and the plaques honor a veteran’s service and serve as a lasting tribute to the individual’s status as a veteran. Eligible family members can request one or the other, but not both.

More information about NCA memorial options can be found on the VA website. Information about VA burial and memorial benefits is available online, at VA national cemeteries or by calling toll-free at 1-800-827-1000.

Successful 7th Annual Car and Bike Show Honors Veterans

Thank you, York County Veterans Outreach, for a successful 7th Annual Car and Bike Show! The event featured vintage, antique, and custom cars, and bikes, benefiting veterans and their families.

A special highlight was interviewing Grand Marshal, WWII U.S. Army Veteran Paul Steich. Paul, who served as a cannoneer in the Battle of Saipan, shared his inspiring life story, including 75 years of marriage and his recent 101st birthday.

Thank you to everyone who made this event a success. Don’t miss the 8th Annual Show on Saturday, May 24, 2025, at the Church of the Open Door – East York Campus. Start your Memorial Day weekend with this meaningful event!

You can find more photos from the event here.

Honoring Heroes at 12th Annual Fallen Heroes Ride

The freedoms we enjoy today are thanks to the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for us. I was honored to be part of the 12th Annual Fallen Heroes Ride, gathering to remember four of York County’s finest:

First Lieutenant Darren M. Hidalgo, US Army
Sergeant Christopher M. Wrinkle & Staff Sergeant Tosca, USMC
Staff Sergeant Benjamin S. Hines, USMC
Seaman Gatlin S. Green, US Navy

It was a fitting tribute to their memory. Thank you to everyone who organized and attended this meaningful event.

VA Expands Health Care Coverage to Veteran Family Members, Caregivers Through CHAMPVA

The VA has expanded coverage for medical services – including audio-only telehealth, mental health and substance use – for family members and primary family caregivers participating in the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA).

CHAMPVA is a health care program for certain spouses, surviving spouses, children and primary family caregivers of eligible veterans. Currently, there are more than 737,500 CHAMPVA beneficiaries. Through CHAMPVA, VA shares the cost of medically necessary health care services and supplies with eligible beneficiaries. This includes mental health services, inpatient and outpatient services, prescription medications, transplants, ambulatory surgery, family planning and maternity care, and more.

To learn more and apply for CHAMPVA care, visit CHAMPVA’s website.

New Website for Veterans, VA Customers Ordering Contact Lenses

The new Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) Patriot Vision website allows veterans, their families, their caregivers and VA employees the opportunity to order prescription contacts with free standard delivery.

Partnering with Next Day Contacts, VCS offers top name brands including Acuvue, Dailies, Biofinity, Air Optix and more.

For more information and to shop for contacts, go to the Patriot Vision website.

New VA Grant Program to Help with Transition from Military to Civilian Life

The VA announced a new grant program to help service members and their spouses transition from military to civilian life.

The grants will be awarded to eligible organizations that provide employment-based resources and tools for transitioning service members and spouses to civilian life – including resume assistance services, interview training, job recruitment training, employment placement services and additional services that lead to a successful transition.

The VA expects to award approximately $4 million in grants in 2024, in increments of up to $500,000 per organization. The grants will be matched by the receiving organization. A notice of funding opportunity for this program will be posted this month by the VA.

For more information about all the VA’s efforts to support transitioning service members and their families, visit the VA’s transition homepage.

Veterans Job Listing

Every week, the Pennsylvania Nation Guard Associations updates its free job board with good openings for National Guard members, veterans and their families across Pennsylvania and in nearby states. The board features nearly 10,000 employment and internship postings.

What are Vet Centers?

VA Vet centers provide free and confidential readjustment counseling for war-zone Veterans and their families, from World War II to the current Global War on Terror.

Vet centers are small, non-medical, counseling centers conveniently located in our region. They’re staffed by highly trained counselors and team members dedicated to seeing you through the challenges that come with managing life during and after the military.

Whether you come in for one-on-one counseling or to participate in a group session, at Vet centers you can form social connections, try new things and build a support system with people who understand you and want to help you succeed.

Who is Eligible to Receive Services at Vet Centers?

Vet center services are available to Veterans at no cost, regardless of discharge character, and without the need to be enrolled in VA health care or having a service-connected disability. If you are a Veteran or service member, including members of the National Guard and Reserve, you can access Vet center services if you:

  • Served on active military duty in any combat theater or area of hostility.
  • Experienced military sexual trauma (regardless of gender or service era).
  • Provided mortuary services or direct emergent medical care to treat the casualties of war while serving on active military duty.
  • Performed as a member of an unmanned aerial vehicle crew that provided direct support to operations in a combat theater or area of hostility.
  • Accessed care at a Vet Center prior to Jan. 2, 2013 as a Vietnam-era Veteran.
  • Served on active military duty in response to a national emergency or major disaster declared by the president, or under orders of the governor or chief executive of a state in response to a disaster or civil disorder in that state.
  • Are a current or former member of the Coast Guard who participated in a drug interdiction operation, regardless of the location.

Contacting Your Local Vet Center

Even if you are unsure if you meet the criteria to receive services from a Vet center, please contact a center.

Center services are also available to family members when their participation would support the growth and goals of the Veteran or active-duty service member. If you consider them family, so does your local center. Bereavement services are also available to family members of Veterans who were receiving Vet center services at the time of the Veteran’s death, and to the families of service members who died while serving on active duty.

Vet center locations in Pennsylvania are:

  • Bucks County Vet Center, 2 Canals End Road, Suite 201B, Bristol, PA 19007, 215-823-4590
  • DuBois Vet Center, 100 Meadow Lane, Suite 8, DuBois, PA 15801, 814-372-2095
  • Erie Vet Center, 240 West 11th Street, Suite 105, Erie, PA 16501, 814-453-7955
  • Harrisburg Vet Center, 1500 N. Second Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102, 717-782-3954
  • Lancaster Vet Center, 1817 Olde Homestead Lane, Suite 207, Lancaster, PA 17601, 717283-0735
  • Norristown Vet Center, 320 East Johnson Highway, Suite 201, Norristown, PA 19401, 215-823-5245
  • City Center Philadelphia Vet Center, 801 Arch Street, Suite 502, Philadelphia, PA 19107, 215-627-0238
  • Northeast Philadelphia Vet Center, 101 East Olney Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19120, 215-924-4670
  • Pittsburgh Vet Center, 2500 Baldwick Road, Suite 15, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, 412-920-1765
  • Scranton Vet Center, 1002 Pittston Avenue, Scranton, PA 18505, 570-344-2676
  • White Oak Vet Center, 2001 Lincoln Way, Suite 280, White Oak, PA 15131, 412-678-7704
  • Williamsport Vet Center, 49 East Fourth Street, Suite 104, Williamsport, PA 17701, 570-327-5281

For more information, please visit


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