Commissioners Honor Christopher Rotell-Tierney

The Lackawanna County Commissioners presented a Certificate of Recognition to Christopher Rotell-Tierney, inside right, who was one of the winners in the 2014 Armed Forces Design and Essay Contest. Christopher was the first grade winner in the drawing portion of the competition.

L-r, Commissioner Corey D. O’Brien, Commissioner Jim Wansacz, Mr. Rotell-Tierney and Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley.

Lackawanna County Veterans Affairs Office Secures Over $3 Million In Benefits For Veterans

Securing pension, disability and other benefits have long-been the focus of the Lackawanna County Office of Veterans Affairs.  Under the leadership of director Robert Tuffy, the office has helped veterans and their families in Lackawanna County secure millions of dollars in benefits that they have earned through their service to our nation.

The Lackawanna County Commissioners are pleased to report that during the 2013-2014 program year, the Department of Veterans Affairs has hit an all-time yearly high of $3.4 million in benefits to help Lackawanna County’s 28,000 veterans who have given so much to our country.  Having already surpassed the $2.9 million obtained last fiscal year, the department hopes to receive $4 million in benefits before the current year ends. The 2013-2014 total ranks Lackawanna County as the seventh-leading county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in terms of overall funds collected for veterans during the fiscal year.

“The good work done by our Department of Veterans Affairs makes an impact every day in the lives of those who have served our nation,” said Commissioner Jim Wansacz. “Each new milestone set by the office shows their tireless commitment to serving our veterans.”

“Helping our veterans to access the benefits they have earned has been a top priority of Lackawanna County government,” Commissioner Corey D. O’Brien said of the milestone. “Our veterans affairs staff is constantly reaching new milestones in this critical area.”

“We owe our freedom as Americans to our veterans, and helping them obtain their benefits is an honor for our veterans affairs department,” said Commissioner Patrick O’Malley. “We are proud of the great work our veterans affairs department performs in assisting our veterans in a variety of areas.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs is dedicated to helping our veterans and their families with whatever they need in the way of general support, advocacy, research and medical information.  The mission of the office is to serve our veterans in the most convenient and respectful way possible.

The staff’s outreach representatives will visit veterans’ homes, if necessary, along with scheduling appointments at local nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or private residences to discuss what veterans and their families need.

The Veterans Affairs Office is open from Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM and is located on the third floor of The Scranton Electric Building, 507 Linden Street, Scranton.  The staff includes: veterans service officers Anissa Akulonis and Dave Eisele and office assistant Steuart Bailey. The office telephone number is 570-963-6778.

Lackawanna County Sets Guidelines For Armed Forces Drawing & Essay Contests

Lackawanna County is once again sponsoring its patriotic drawing and essay contests for students in the public and parochial school systems focusing on our veterans, founding fathers and patriotic ideals of our Country.

The categories for the contest are as follows: kindergarten to second grade involves the youngsters preparing a patriotic drawing; third to eighth graders will be asked to develop an essay on the topic of “Why I Appreciate America’s Veterans;” and ninth through twelfth grade students will reflect on the topic of “What I Would Tell America’s Founding Fathers About Our Country.”

The drawings should be done on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper.  The essays for grades 3 – 8 should be no less than 100 words but no more than 300 words.  The upper grades essays should be no less than 300 words but no more than 500 words.

The format for the writing contests can be a traditional essay or a poem.  Each entry must include the student’s name, grade, school district, address, telephone number or email along with a parent’s name and contact information.

All participants must be residents of Lackawanna County.

Submissions should be sent to the Communications Office, Lackawanna County, 200 Adams Avenue, Sixth Floor, Scranton, PA 18503 by April 18, 2014.