Barrar and Veteran Committees Host Gen. Frank J. Grass
Adj. Gen Jim Joseph, Rep. Chris Sainato (D-Lawrence), Gen. Frank J. Grass, Sen. Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny) and I honored prisoners of war and those who are missing in action during Gen. Grass’s visit to the Capitol on Oct. 8.
HARRISBURG – Rep. Steve Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware), majority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, participated in a joint informational meeting with both the House and Senate veterans committees held in conjunction with a visit of one of the president’s important military advisors. During his visit to the Capitol, Gen. Frank J. Grass, a four star general, provided the committees with valuable information relating to the National Guard and the structure of the force.

Grass, accompanied by Adj. Gen Jim Joseph, highlighted two programs that the National Guard has made successful: Youth Challenge Program and the Partnership Program.

“It was a true honor to meet Gen. Grass during his visit to Pennsylvania. Gen. Grass, who is the Chief of the National Guard Bureau and one of the joint chiefs of staff to the President, directs all state National Guards, so sitting down with him to learn about how the National Guard are protecting citizens not only in the 160th District but across America and throughout the world was an incredible opportunity,” Barrar said.

The Youth Challenge Program is a five-month resident program for at-risk youth. During their residency, high school dropouts receive education, fitness and life skills training from National Guardsmen while earning their GED. During the five months they spend in the program, the youth redirect the course of their lives. Many go on to earn college degrees and have successful careers. They credit the Youth Challenge Program for their victories. Using a combination of federal and state funding, the program has already graduated 140,000 youth.

Another program that has had a profound effect is the Partnership Program. For almost 23 years, state National Guards have been partnered with countries across the world. The Pennsylvania National Guard works with Lithuania as a training partner and to assist with their mutual protection as an ally. The National Atlantic Treaty Organization supports this program as it sends a strong signal of unity to the rest of the world.

During the meeting, committee members had the opportunity to ask Grass questions and share comments with him. One member implored the general to remember the elite training available at Ft. Indiantown Gap during difficult budget decisions. Another member asked about the status of House Resolution 437, a resolution that was unanimously approved by the state House in September urging Congress and the Department of Defense to expeditiously address the safety and protection of United States armed forces personnel within the borders of the United States.

“I thank the members who were able to attend, Adj. Gen Joseph and Gen. Grass for a robust conversation,” Barrar said. “A great deal of information was shared, and it reaffirmed why our committees are so dedicated to our armed forces personnel and their families.”

Representative Stephen E. Barrar
160th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Alison Evans
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