DALLAS — Over 300 veterans gathered at Misericordia University Saturday morning for the seventh annual Veteran’s Recognition Breakfast.
The event was hosted by State Rep. Karen Boback, R-Harveys Lake, in conjunction with the university, Dallas High School’s Student Leaders in Civics Club and Metz Culinary Management.
“I’m glad to see the veterans recognized, especially the Vietnam vets,” said Jack Judge, 70, of Hunlock Creek.
Judge served in the U.S. Navy between 1961 and 1965 and was stationed at Camp Pendleton as a dental technician.
“During the Vietnam war, there wasn’t much recognition for us,” he said. “But we all felt we had an obligation, and we’re all proud of what we did.”
Boback and State Senator Lisa Baker, R-Lehman Township, presented Misericordia President Tom Botzman with an award in recognition of the university’s designation of a “military friendly school” for 2014.
Baker, who chairs the Senate Veterans Committee in Harrisburg, announced that beginning in March every veteran in the state can receive the designation of “veteran” on their driver’s license, free of charge.
After the breakfast, an appreciation ceremony and presentation of commemorative pins was held in the Lemmond Theater. Boback presented the pins in honor of her father, Michael Passarella, a master sergeant in the U.S. Army during WWII.
During the ceremony a slide show of photos of the veterans was displayed on a large screen over the stage.
Phil Paylor, 60, of Tunkhannock, was excited to see his picture. Paylor, who fought in the U.S. Army Combat Infantry during the Vietnam War, said he’s attended all seven of the breakfasts.
“These are all friends, brothers and sisters,” he said of his fellow veterans in attendance. “I’m proud that Representative Boback does this for us.”
Paylor returned home from war with three Bronze Stars and an Army Accommodation with a “V” device for Valor.
Helping to celebrate the day with her husband — and her uncle, Carlton Dymond — Janet Paylor, 58, said she’s happy that more bills are being passed into laws to help veterans.
A number of local agencies and organizations were on hand to offer information and support to the veterans and their spouses.
“I think this is wonderful that Dr. Boback and Lisa Baker do this for the veterans, and I hope it continues for many years to come,” Janet Paylor said.
Dymond, 60, of Falls, served in the Army during the Vietnam War as a clerk typist in Laos and Thailand.
“If I was younger, I’d go back and do it all over again,” he said. “I think it’s great that they have this event for the veterans. There are so many people here that have done more than their duty.”