Veterans converge on Lancaster for VFW convention

Written by Matt Paul, Reporter/Producer | Jun 14, 2013 11:04 AM

(Lancaster) -- Hundreds of veterans are gathered in Lancaster this week, for the 94th Annual Convention of the Pennsylvania Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The VFW works with veterans’ hospitals, state and federal lawmakers to help meet the needs of all veterans.

Those needs are growing as more and more military members return from their service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

State Commander Ruth Fairchild says Pennsylvania is home to roughly 97,000 VFW members. "As our numbers increase with the younger members, unfortunately we're losing a lot of our World War II veterans and even some of our Vietnam veterans," explains Fairchild. "So, it's not necessarily increasing."

Younger veterans have different needs than their older members. Fairchild says they're more family oriented -- focused on job training, and better treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

The federal Department of Veterans Affairs has also made improved mental health services a priority. The Lebanon VA Medical Center has just announced nine new hires to supplement the 16-mental health professionals already on staff.

The Pennsylvania VFW convention wraps up tomorrow, at the Lancaster Host Resort and Conference Center.

Published in Lancaster, News

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