Williamsport, PA― The fifth annual Dr. Alexander Nesbitt Commitment to Caring Award was presented to MSGT George W. Heiges, Jr. (Ret.), Director of Lycoming County Veterans Affairs, on April 18, 2018 in a surprise ceremony following an End-of-Life Choices seminar at the Elder & Special Needs Resource Center in Williamsport. Dr. Nesbitt presented the award, established by Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak, and named in his honor. Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurachak also provided a cash donation to the non-profit charity of the recipient’s choice. The Dr. Alexander Nesbitt Commitment to Caring Award was established by the elder care law firm in 2014. According to Attorney Julieanne E. Steinbacher, the award recognizes an individual or a non-profit organization in the community that shows an extraordinary commitment to caring that improves the lives of others.
This year’s recipient is a Lycoming County native, raised in Montgomery, where he met and married his high school sweet heart, Katherine. Together they raised two beautiful daughters, Stephanie and Jamie. George knew he wanted to serve the country and enlisted, serving for 21 years in the US Air Force, retiring in 2001 with a rank of Master Sargent. His military service was followed by eight years as a police officer in Louisiana before George opted to return home to Lycoming County.
George is fully accredited as a Veterans Service Officer by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Recognized as the second largest department in the US Government, The Veterans Administration has had numerous struggles in providing care and assistance to those who served. When necessary, George challenges this system to perform as expected, ensuring his clients receive quality care in the quickest way possible.
Master Sergeant Heiges has been known to exhaust all measures in seemingly very difficult cases, going above and beyond in gathering information from doctors and VA professionals when others gave up hope in receiving compensation or pensions. He has coordinated resources from various organizations and established a strong financial pool for veteran financial assistance, access to services and supports for the disabled Veterans, and is a constant source of information for the uninformed.
George has a long history of completing outreach to nursing homes, elderly care facilities as well as visiting sick or housebound veterans in their homes if necessary. His selfless approach to helping veterans off all ages, branches and limitations has brought a tremendous positive reputation to the Lycoming County office, reaching multiple milestones in number of claims, financial rewards, and number of veterans assisted. In his time as Director of Veterans Affairs, George has helped our disabled veterans and their widows secure over 40 million dollars in health care services and benefits to support them for their service to our county. Additionally, George is an active member of the Lycoming County Veterans Council, The American Legion, The VFW, Korean War Veterans Inc., and Vietnam Veterans Inc.
At statewide conferences for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Military Affairs, George has become a mentor and leader for all Veteran Service persons. His experience in the inter working of the system is commendable. He provides quick solutions to difficult cases and is very knowledgeable of simple and effective ways to achieve success when filing for services within the VA.
.Perhaps the most compelling strength one can observe when interacting with George is his genuine concern for the wellbeing of his clients. He quickly puts troubled veterans and spouses at ease taking their stress upon himself. He insists the veteran does not become frustrated with a challenging system and his success rate with handling difficult circumstances convinces each client they have made the right decision in conferring with George.