"On the morning of Sept. 15, I had the very distinct honor of attending a breakfast and ceremony recognizing Southwestern Pennsylvania Veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
The ceremony was held at the Bethel Park Community Center. The community center was packed with veterans and their families as Congressman Tim Murphy lead in the Pledge of Allegiance. Ms. Sonia Stopperich, a North Strabane Township Supervisor, followed with an exceptional rendition of the National Anthem. Sean Parnell, author of the book Outlaw Platoon gave a very stirring talk about bravery in the face of danger veterans have displayed during wartime.
Many, some now feeble and stooped with age, humbly and appreciatively accepted their long over-due recognition without the first indication of bragging or boasting. As stories of their heroic acts of service were told by Command Sargeant Major (Ret.) Jim Hill, one by one they were presented with their much-deserved medals by Congressman Murphy.
These are the fathers, mothers and grandparents we see mowing lawns and doing normal homeowner chores around their homes.
They are the men and women sitting next to you at church, driving in the lane next to you, shopping in front of you at the grocery store, worrying about the high price of gas and if their money can be stretched to make it until the end of the month. These same individuals, when called upon to defend the freedom of America, stood tall and met the challenge with a vigor only an American can understand.
Won't you take time to say "thank you" to a military veteran or active service member today? Give them a big 'Ooh Rah.'"
—Dr. Jerry L. Keller-Commissioner, Crescent Township-Western Pennsylvania Police Benevolent Foundation-Military Affairs Coalition of Western Pennsylvania, Public Affairs Committee