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The Boston Globe


Mass. agency reaches out to help veterans

Innovations called model for US

Richard Yarde returned to his home state of Massachusetts in 1968 after serving as a machine gunner in Vietnam. Between the combat he had seen and the shame of serving in an unpopular war, he said, it took him nearly 30 years to walk into a Veterans Affairs office and seek the help he had earned.

“When I first came home, you didn’t even admit you were a veteran,” said Yarde, 71. “A lot of us came back damaged, and people became recluses. They melted into the woods – they didn’t want to be a part of society.”

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