“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”
-Elmer Davis, reporting on World War II
The Governor’s Advisory Council on Veterans’ Services recently held its annual regional meeting at the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home. The Council works on programs for Veterans and the delivery of essential services to Veterans, including health care, education, housing, outreach through regular community meetings, and workforce training and retraining. The men and women on the Council are dedicated to ensuring that Veterans throughout the Commonwealth receive the resources they deserve.
To kick off the annual meeting, Chelsea Soldiers’ Home Chief Operating Officer Betty Anne Ritcey welcomed Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray, as well as the many distinguished Veterans and advocates in attendance.
State Representative and Chairman of the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs Jim Vallee (a Veteran himself) attended and spoke about the various bills currently before his committee and its efforts to support his fellow servicemen and women, “I fully recognize and acknowledge the selfless sacrifice of my fellow soldiers who have given and continue to give so much more than me," Representative Vallee said.
Department of Veterans’ Services Secretary Coleman Nee, a frequent visitor to the Home, spoke to the many familiar faces, stressing that he knew how incredibly hard staff at the Home work every day to ensure Veterans receive the care they need and the benefits they have distinctly earned. Colonel Frances Magurn, chief of staff for the Massachusetts National Guard, reported to attendees on the Deployment Cycle Support Office and provided an update on the services available at the Military & Family Support Center. Christine Croteau, acting director of the Bedford VA Medical Center, talked about realigning VA services so they are centralized in Boston for Veterans throughout the state.
Brigadier General Paul Smith, the Assistant Adjunct General of the Massachusetts Army National Guard, talked about the devastating impact of the tornadoes in Western and Central Massachusetts earlier this month and heroic responses by so many.
“As Chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Veterans’ Services, I appreciate the opportunity to meet Massachusetts Veterans and thank them for their service throughout the year,” said Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray. The Lieutenant Governor also pointed out that the recent heroic storm recovery efforts by the Massachusetts National Guard typified the dedication of the state’s armed forces. Lieutenant Governor Murray also acknowledged the great sacrifice of our military servicemen and women, and thanked all of the meeting’s attendees for raising awareness about resources and benefits available to Veterans and their families.
On behalf of the more than 450 men and women living at the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home and our entire staff, we look forward to sharing more in this blog space about the many projects, program and events happening at the Home.
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