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Friday, May 22, 2009

Governor Rendell: Remember the Importance of Memorial Day

Many Pennsylvanians will enjoy a three-day weekend for Memorial Day. Amidst that extra time with family and friends, however, I hope that we do not lose sight of the day's significance.

Memorial Day is a time to mark the sacrifices made by countless men and women who have given their lives in service to this nation.

Pennsylvanians have served this nation valiantly. Sadly, many of them did not come home. Since the 9/11 alone, 223 of our soldiers have died in the line of duty while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and more than 1,500 have been wounded in action while serving in military operations abroad. We owe a debt of gratitude to those brave individuals, the families many left behind, and the more than 5,000 Pennsylvania National Guard members who are now serving around the globe.

Midge and I extend our heartfelt thanks to the veterans and family members who have sacrificed for this nation. While I hope every Pennsylvanian joins us this weekend in honoring their service, my greater hope is that we all remain mindful of their courage and dedication even when it is not Memorial Day.


Bonuses Still Available for Persian Gulf War Veterans
Pennsylvania’s veterans of the first Persian Gulf War and their families are urged to take advantage of a bonus program recognizing their service. The Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans’ Benefit Program pays $75 per month for qualifying active-duty service, up to a $525 maximum. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs has a quick and effective process in place to handle applications, which it began accepting last spring. To date, more than 7,200 Gulf veterans have applied for the one-time cash payment and approximately $2.5 million in bonuses has been paid. Apply online here.

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