Slate Belt Disabled Veterans Housing Complex Groundbreaking Brings Together Medal of Honor Recipient Ryan Pitts, 100-Year-Old Decorated WWII Veteran Donald Jones, Brad Kennedy Vietnam Decorated Combat Veteran & Author

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — On a beautiful fall Saturday in Northeast Pennsylvania hundreds of members of the community and dignitaries gathered under a huge tent at 4th and Market, in Bangor, PA. The Slate Belt Veterans Association (SBVA), a nonprofit organization whose all-volunteer board mostly comprised of Veterans and Combat Disabled Veterans, held a groundbreaking celebration on plans for construction of an environmentally sustainable housing complex compliant with the Americans Disabilities Act designated for Veterans with service-connected, combat-related disabilities.

Among the distinguished speakers was retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Pitts. Pitts recalled the Battle of Wanat in Afghanistan that earned him the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award for valor, “It was about community.” He said to the crowd of the actions of his battalion that July 13, 2008, “It was about taking care of each other. And that is the same thing you are doing right here.”

Donald Jones, 100 years old, a decorated Veteran who served in WWII also spoke. He is committed to Veterans programs, and he had always visualized Veteran housing. “This today is not just another feather in your cap but also in my cap,” he said, “I have been waiting many years to see a housing project for our Veterans, thank you for bringing this to the community.” Jones smiled as he handed a donation to SBVA.   

Brad Kennedy, is a decorated Vietnam combat Veteran, author of “Betrayal, Will Stone in Vietnam.” Kennedy said, “Many of those fortunate enough to come back from serving our country, will come back with combat related injuries. There will always be a need for housing.” 

Toni Lynch, Vietnam Veteran and SBVA Board Member was Master of Ceremony. He reiterated the primary purpose of the SBVA is to honor those who have served and to support and assist those who have returned home, especially those who returned with service-connected disabilities. Other SBVA Board members are, Leon Vanderpool, President; Tegwyn Hughes, Vice President; Terry DeGroote, Civil Engineer; Brad Kennedy, Financial Adviser, and Cindy Beck, Secretary.

“The project is moving forward due in large part to the generosity of the late Brian Perin, who willed a substantial contribution to the SBVA.” Said Lynch, “The late Michael Kovalevich, also a Veteran, proposed construction of housing for Veterans with disabilities. He had seen firsthand how difficult it was for injured Veterans to find affordable, ADA-compliant accommodations.”

Other Speakers included, local politicians and The Honorable Leonard R. Zito, retired Northampton County Senior Judge and U.S. Navy Veteran, Judge Ed Smith District Judge of U.S. District Court for Eastern District of PA, retired Navy Captain awarded the Bronze Star Medal for service in Iraq. Linda Perin sister- in – law and executrix of the late Brian Perin’s estate.

The SBVA Board presented a “Certificate of Appreciation” in remembrance of Vietnam Veteran Terry L. Brodt Sr to his son Terry L. Brodt Jr.  

If you or your company support housing for combat disabled Veterans and are interested in contributing to this project as a model for others, visit to donate, email or call SBVA at 610-509-4296! The Slate Belt Veterans Administration is a 501c3.  Your donation is 100% tax deductible. 

Media Contact on behalf of SBVA
Gallagher & Gallagher Worldwide, Inc.
Washington DC, Pennsylvania, New York / H. Morgan, GGW

National Media Contact:
Ms. Daisy Gallagher, GGW CEO, Chief Public Affairs Officer
Text: 202-465-0009

SOURCE Slate Belt Veterans Association