Senator Aument E-Newsletter

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Thank you for subscribing to my E-newsletter. I am honored to serve the 36th Senatorial District and look forward to working with you toward building a stronger Pennsylvania. This E-newsletter serves to keep you updated on what is happening throughout  Lancaster County and what I am doing as your State Senator in Harrisburg – I hope that you find it helpful! Should you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please DO NOT reply to this email; instead, please feel free to contact me here.


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

In this Update:

  • Honoring Sacrifice at My Veterans Appreciation Breakfast
  • New Law Makes It Easier for Students of Military Families to Enroll in School
  • Military Medals Can Now Be Awarded to Strategic Allies
  • How One Leash Can Save Two Lives
  • Staying in Touch with Friends, Family, and Yourself
  • What You Earned – VA Benefits
  • National Wreaths Across America Day
  • What are Vet Centers?
  • Who is Eligible to Receive Services at Vet Centers?
  • Contacting Your Local Vet Center

Honoring Sacrifice at My Veterans Appreciation Breakfast

Many thanks to retired SMA Dan Dailey, Jess Zimmerman Band, Lancaster County Composite Squadron of Civil Air Patrol, and the staff of the Eden Resort for helping to honor our veterans last month at my annual Veterans Appreciation Breakfast.

To view more photos from this event, please visit my Instagram page here.

New Law Makes It Easier for Students of Military Families to Enroll in School

Recently signed into law, Act 24 of 2023 makes it easier for an estimated 185,000 students of relocating military families to enroll in school.

Previously, students of military families that transferred on official military permanent change of station orders were not eligible to register in classes, enroll in specialized academic programs, or submit their children’s names in lotteries for charter or magnet schools until they were physically located within the district boundaries.

The delay caused students to miss deadlines, requiring them to shift their planned courses of study, which forced some to take summer classes, or even graduate later than expected.

The new law allows such families to establish residency for purposes of enrollment in the school district in which they will be residing by providing the school district with a copy of their military transfer order. This enables them to access registration and enrollment at the same time it is open to the general population.

Military Medals Can Now Be Awarded to Strategic Allies

A new law in the commonwealth permits the adjutant general to award certain Pennsylvania medals to members of strategic allies, like the Republic of Lithuania.

Previous Pennsylvania law only allowed civilians, veterans, members of the Pennsylvania National Guard, or the armed forces of the United States and their reserve components to be presented with the Pennsylvania Distinguished Service Medal and the Pennsylvania Meritorious Service Medal.

Act 16 of 2023 was supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the Pennsylvania National Guard Association.

How One Leash Can Save Two Lives

Leashes of Valor (LOV) is a nonprofit organization that supports veterans by pairing them with service dogs from local shelters. LOV provides psychiatric service dogs at no cost to post-9/11 veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other “unseen” wounds of military service.

The organization is in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and its new facility – called Axel’s Place in honor of the service dog who inspired the organization – is currently undergoing renovations as it prepares to host its first group of veterans in the coming months. The 2,900-square-foot property is nestled on 10 secluded acres within a short drive of shopping centers, restaurants, and other businesses where veterans, typically in groups of two to four, will get real-life training with their service dogs.

Veterans who receive service dogs through LOV’s program spend seven days living and training with the dogs at the facility, all at no cost to veterans.

Staying in Touch with Friends, Family, and Yourself

It’s easy to get caught up in everyday life and put yourself last, especially around the holidays.

As a member of the military, you were trained to put others’ needs ahead of your own, and that doesn’t end when you leave active service.

But remember that when you were in the military, you were part of something bigger than yourself, and to accomplish a mission meant relying on others.

Now that you’re a veteran, that hasn’t changed. Everyone faces struggles in life, and no one can get through them alone. It’s okay to ask for help. 

To stay mentally and physically healthy, you can’t wait until everything piles up. You can’t wait for a crisis to happen. You have to reach out for support when you need it.

If you or the veterans in your life need support, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers many resources to help, and you don’t have to be enrolled in VA benefits or health care to use any of them. Learn more about those resources here.

It can be hard to ask for help, but you aren’t alone and don’t have to carry the weight on your own. The Veterans Crisis Line is a call, chat, or text away, and it can help with whatever you’re going through: 

Dial 988 then press 1, chat at, or text 838255.

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs offers several resources to support community partners connecting veterans in crisis to the best possible resources to help them live a safe, healthy, quality life. 

But the VA isn’t the only place to reach out for help. You can also reach out for help at one of your local churches or a veterans service organization.

By staying in touch with the people you care about – including yourself – you can find the hope and support you deserve.

What You Earned – VA Benefits

The VA’s “What You Earned” campaign focuses on educating veterans and their families about some of the most tangible, cost-saving benefits of using the VA, including:

The campaign uses actual cost comparisons to demonstrate veterans’ savings with the VA vs. without the VA, with the goal of encouraging veterans who are not enrolled in VA health care or receiving VA benefits to apply for the first time.

Learn more about the VA here. Apply for health care here. Apply for your earned benefits here.

If you need help navigating the benefits process, the American Legion offers accredited American Legion service officers who are specially trained to provide expert assistance, free of charge, to veterans and their families. While most of a service officer’s work involves application for VA disability benefits, these compassionate professionals also provide information, referrals, and resources on education, employment and business, death benefits, and other important topics.

Click here for more information about finding a service officer.

National Wreaths Across America Day

This year, National Wreaths Across America Day will be held on Saturday, Dec. 16.

Join the more than two million volunteers and supporters who will gather to remember, honor, and teach at more than 4,000 participating locations in all 50 states, at sea, and abroad.

Learn more about the mission here.

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.

Our region is served by the Lancaster Vet Center, which is one of 12 vet centers in Pennsylvania and more than 300 across the country. 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.

The Lancaster Vet Center, located at 1817 Olde Homestead Lane, Suite 207, Lancaster, PA 17601, can be contacted at 717-283-0735 or toll free 24/7 at 1-877-WAR-VETS (927-8387).

The other 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
  • 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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