Over 200 Veterans and citizens were present as City Council dedicated its Veterans Advisory Commission’s (VAC) new office on Friday, November 16, 2012, outside Rm 127 adjacent to City Hall’s Courtyard. The new location will provide better access and increased visibility for this most important office. “This is long overdue.” lauded Council President Darrell L. Clarke. The office’s mission remains the same – To aid the City’s veterans and their families, as well as active duty military personnel, by facilitating the delivery of services available to them from the City, State and Nation. The office’s Veterans Service Coordinators, Joyce Mckeown and Wanda Pate are fully committed to this charge.
Present for the opening were – keynote speaker, former Marine and current Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery, Regional Director of U.S. Veteran Affairs – Robert McKenrick, Majority Leader – Councilman Curtis Jones, Minority Whip – Councilman David Oh, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, Councilwoman Cindy Bass, State Representatives Rosita Youngblood and Mike O’Brien, Sheriff Jewell Williams, Judge Joe Waters, Judge Pat Dugan, Commissioner Anthony Clark and Veterans Commissioners Samuel Blow and Ernest Landers. Military Chaplin and former Philadelphia Eagle Freddie Smalls gave the inovcation, Honor Guard Post 266 presented the flag and led the Pledge of Allegiance, and drills were performed by cadets from Leeds Military School. Also on hand to lend their voices to festivities were Philadelphia Eagle’s Cheerleaders.
City Council looks forward to the VAC’s continued stellar service to Philadelphia’s Veterans community, and sincerely thanks all Veterans for their service to our Country!