KENNETT SQUARE (November 1, 2019) – On the first day of Veterans Awareness Month, state Senator Andy Dinniman visited the Kennett Area Senior Center to honor local veterans and present them each with certificates of appreciation.

“We come together to recognize the contributions of our servicemen and women because too often, just how much each and every one of them has done to protect our nation and our way of life is not fully appreciated,” Dinniman said. “We can take a day, or a month, to celebrate and honor our veterans, but it’s not enough – we need to recognize their sacrifice each and every day by ensuring they receive all the support and services they deserve.”

The Lukens Band, a community band based in Coatesville, performed a multitude of patriotic songs throughout the event. Some members of the band are veterans, as well.

The event’s guest speaker, Col. (Ret.) Cynthia J. Abbadini, of Kennett Square, spoke on the history of women in the US Military – weaving stories from the Revolutionary War to the present-day women of service.

“In 1973, only 2 percent of the enlisted and 8 percent of officers were women … today, 16 percent of enlisted and 18 percent of officers are women,” Col. Abbadini said.

The event was capped with an invocation from veteran Chaplain Lawrence Dutton of Coatesville.

State Representatives Stephen Barrar and Christina Sappey were also in attendance.

While the event was mainly focused on commemoration, Dinniman and other officials also discussed the need to change state policy to provide more aid to veterans.

House Bill 32 calls for providing funds for brain scans and the necessary equipment to the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs in order to provide better care for veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress.

As of 2017, data reports a minimum of 26,000 veterans in Chester County. Of this number, over 8,000 – almost a third – are Vietnam War veterans.