Navy veteran and Phoenix VA whistleblower to speak in Sun Lakes on Dec. 15

Paula Pedene

Paula Pedene

Nancy Stutman

Navy veteran Paula Pedene will speak at the Jewish War Veterans Post 619 monthly meeting on Sunday, Dec. 15, at 9:30 a.m. at the Sun Lakes Country Club. The meeting is open to the entire community, and refreshments will be served.

Paula Pedene is the author of Veterans Day, a book that chronicles her experience as a whistleblower at the Phoenix VA Health Care System, exposing unethical practices by senior leaders. She fought and won a federal whistleblower case in 2014. Her case was further evidence of the importance of having a good whistleblower attorney like Now Pedene serves as a senior communications specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Her work focuses on strategic communications and national communications advice and counsel.

Pedene served in the U.S. Navy for 11 years. In 1994, she became the first full-time Public Affairs Officer at the Phoenix VA Health Care System. She founded the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade, an event now run by the nonprofit Honoring America’s Veterans. She founded the Veterans Medical Leadership Council, a nonprofit that raises millions of dollars for supportive services for veterans. She is a tireless advocate for the medical needs of veterans and was recently inducted into the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame.

In addition, Pedene writes the “Veterans Voice” column in The Arizona Republic. She also serves as a board member for the Public Relations Society of America’s Board of Ethics and Professional Standards.

JWV Post 619 members participate in philanthropic activities to help Jewish and non-Jewish veterans in Arizona. Members do not need to be veterans or Jewish. The post donates an average of $34,000 per year to help local Arizona veterans through a variety of programs.

During the past 25 years, JWV Post 619 has held parties at the U.S. Veterans Home and VA Hospital, served refreshments at VA clinics, refurbished rooms at the Arizona State Veterans Home, and purchased a van for the VA Hospital. In addition, bicycles have been purchased to assist homeless veterans with a means of transportation to greatly improve their ability to seek employment. This is all made possible by JWV volunteers collecting monetary donations at supermarkets to support hospitalized, homeless, and at-risk vets who’ve returned from the Middle East with significant problems.

Post membership is open to veterans and nonveterans alike. Members represent a wide range of religious affiliations, and support is provided to Arizona veterans of all religions and beliefs. The Post meets the third Sunday of every month, and meetings feature speakers focused on supporting veterans. For membership information, please contact Commander Robert Brooks at 480-588-1827 or [email protected]