Post Content

(Right to Left) HHS Secretary John Polanowicz, DVS Secretary Coleman Nee, presenting Veteran Advocate Tom L’Italien with the Governor's Commendation

(Right to Left) HHS Secretary John Polanowicz, DVS Secretary Coleman Nee, presenting Veteran Advocate Tom L’Italien with the Governor’s Citation

Monday, Secretary Polanowicz and Secretary Nee presented Tom L’Italien with a Governor’s Citation for his outstanding work supporting veterans and raising national awareness on the tragedies facing veterans and their families.

Mr. L’Italien, a Salem native and brother of four Veterans, just completed a bike ride that covered over 2,700 miles to raise awareness on the growing suicide rate of our returning veterans. He began his journey in Flagstaff, Arizona on June 21st and finished his ride in Lynn, Massachusetts this past Sunday.

During his bike ride, Mr. L’Italien traveled through parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. With him, he brought 100 pounds worth of provisions and bike parts, as well as special mementos given to him from families affected by suicide. He rode between 50 and 60 miles a day and relied on the kindness of veterans who had heard about his journey for food and shelter. Mr. L’Italien was also supported by his family and the foundation he works for, TeamVeteran.org.

(Right to Left) HHS Secretary John Polanowicz, DVS Secretary Coleman Nee, and Tom L’Italien with wife Traci L’Italien and grandson Marquese.

(Right to Left) HHS Secretary John Polanowicz, DVS Secretary Coleman Nee, and Tom L’Italien with wife Traci L’Italien and grandson Marquese.

 “When my older brother, Al, returned from Vietnam, I saw how the tragedies he experienced impacted and changed his life. Although he never talked about his experiences, we could see a big difference in him. I’m bicycling across the country to bring awareness of our responsibility in this great nation to take better care of our Veterans.”

— Tom L’Italien

 

Written By:


Tags:

Recent Posts

Celebrate Mental Health Month with DMH! posted on May 16

Celebrate Mental Health Month with DMH!

Please join the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and individuals and organizations from across the nation this May in observing Mental Health Month! Each May, Mental Health Month is observed to raise awareness about mental health related   …Continue Reading Celebrate Mental Health Month with DMH!

Age Out Loud! Celebrate Older Americans Month in May posted on May 1

Age Out Loud! Celebrate Older Americans Month in May

Age-Friendly World! Anti-aging Workouts! Second Acts!  Lifelong Learning! Getting older doesn’t mean what it used to and the way we talk about aging is changing too. For many Americans, it is a phase of life where interests, goals, and dreams can get a renewed energy,   …Continue Reading Age Out Loud! Celebrate Older Americans Month in May

Massachusetts Healthcare Decisions Month posted on Apr 19

Massachusetts Healthcare Decisions Month

In recognition of the 10th anniversary of National Healthcare Decisions Day, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services is proud to support Massachusetts Healthcare Decisions Month (HDM). Led by the Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care*, HDM is a month-long public awareness campaign promoting   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Healthcare Decisions Month