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Join event host Customers Bank on November 11, 2022, for the annual Berks County Veterans Luncheon with guest speaker Pete Hegseth. Registration begins at 11 a.m. and the guest speaker begins at 12 p.m. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Stay tuned for more information.

PROCEEDS BENEFIT: All proceeds will directly support veterans in the Berks County community. Proceeds will be deposited in the Military Assistance Fund of Berks County Community Foundation.

GUEST SPEAKER: Peter (Pete) Hegseth is an American television host, author and an Army National Guard officer as well as former executive director of political advocacy groups Vets For Freedom and Concerned Veterans for America. The latter, a conservative advocacy group funded by the Koch brothers, advocates greater privatization of the Department of Veterans Affairs. He was considered to lead the United States Department of Veterans Affairs in the Trump administration, but in January 2017, David Shulkin was selected instead.

Hegseth has been active in conservative and Republican politics since his days as an undergraduate at Princeton University. In 2016, he emerged as a strong supporter and ally of Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy, and served as an occasional advisor to Trump throughout the latter’s presidency. He reportedly persuaded Trump to pardon three American soldiers accused or convicted of war crimes related to the shooting of non-combatants in Iraq. Hegseth, who was a platoon leader at Guantanamo Bay during his military service, defended the treatment of terrorists detained there.