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Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Hall of Fame Welcomes the Honorable Stephen E. Barrar as a 2021 Inductee

10/21/2021

Annville, PA - Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) inducts the Honorable Stephen E. Barrar, a retired member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from Darby, Delaware County, into its prestigious Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame recognizes citizens for their exceptional service to the department, the Pennsylvania National Guard and Pennsylvania’s veterans.  

The ceremony is available for viewing live at 2:00 PM on www.facebook.com/padmva . 

“The DMVA Hall of Fame enshrines exceptional people, like Steve Barrar, who distinguish themselves through outstanding public service to our nation and the commonwealth,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the DMVA. “He selflessly served our nation during the Vietnam War, and continued his service to others as a 12-term member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. During this tenure, he set an incredibly high standard advocating to improve the lives of servicemembers, veterans and their families, which will always be respected and appreciated.” 

Barrar served during Vietnam from 1973-75 as a member of the U.S. Navy. After his service commitment, he was a small business owner, served as a township commissioner, and continued his public service as a state representative from 1997-2020, earning the reputation as one of the biggest advocates for the commonwealth’s nearly 800,000 veterans.  

Barrar served as majority chairman of the Pennsylvania House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee for 10 years. He was a catalyst for the passage of a multitude of legislation and policies that enhanced veterans programs and benefits as well as supporting servicemembers of the Pennsylvania National Guard, active duty and reserve military components.  

Under his leadership, the Pennsylvania General Assembly created the veteran’s designation on Pennsylvania driver’s licenses and identification cards, established the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Trust Fund, the Pennsylvania Veterans Foundation and the Keystone State Youth Challenge Academy for at-risk youth. Additionally, legislation was enacted to require at least one member of the Pennsylvania Civil Service Commission be a veteran.  

Barrar’s foresight, military experience and tenacity led the way to extremely successful legislation with:

  • Securing in-state college tuition rates for all veterans and eligible family members
  • Creating the Pennsylvania Veterans Registry
  • Establishing the Military Family Education Program and making improvements to the Education Assistance Program
  • Supporting the six state veterans homes
  • Getting medals and awards for veterans and those who support veterans
  • Increasing Pennsylvania National Guard state active duty pay
  • Establishing a grant program for designated accredited veterans service organizations to support the Veterans Service Officer Program
  • Making enhancements for veteran owned small businesses
  • Improving the general welfare of the military and veteran community 

Complete biographies and more information about the DMVA Hall of Fame can be found here. A photo of Barrar can be found on Hall Of Fame Flickr.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Joseph Butera, DMVA - jobutera@pa.gov

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