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Braintree veterans agent reaches out to community

About a month before C Company, 182nd Infantry, Army National Guard returns to Braintree from overseas, the head of the town’s Department of Veterans Services is spreading the word about his agency.

“I feel it’s important to . . . remind [veterans] of the services that are available and reach out to anyone in need about how to reach me,’’ said Veterans Agent Richard Walsh. “I have an office at the senior center, and I have a lot of elderly or retired veterans come in to see me because of that, but it’s a general reach out.’’

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Walsh said he has already contacted the men and women in the 182nd, but decided it would be a good time to issue a broader call for participants.

Walsh’s offices are located at 71 Cleveland Ave. in the Penniman Park Building, also home to the Department of Elder Affairs. Since not all veterans in town are familiar with the senior center, Walsh hopes that a letter recently released on the town’s website will encourage people to look for him.

“There are many resources, programs, and benefits available to veterans and their families of which you may not be aware and I am available to explain and assist in determining if you are eligible,’’ Walsh wrote in the letter, which can be found in its entirety at www.braintreema.gov/News.aspx?315.

Getting in touch with veterans is probably the most difficult aspect of his position, Walsh said.

“It’s finding those that need help . . .,’’ Walsh said. “We reach out to them to let them know what services are available and what they are entitled to, if they need assistance getting work and getting into the VA medical system.’’

He noted that navigating the VA system on one’s own can be a daunting task.

“In Massachusetts, we’re lucky every city and town has a veterans agent so they can come and ask these questions and get these services. That’s what our purpose is,’’ Walsh said.

To ignore the services available would be a shame, Walsh wrote.

“Your country, your state, and the Town of Braintree are grateful for your service and the sacrifices made by you and your family and want you to receive all of that [to] which you are entitled,’’ the letter says.

Veterans can contact Walsh directly at 781-794-8217 or e-mail him at rwalsh@braintreema.gov for assistance.

Jessica Bartlett can be reached at jessica.may.bartlett@gmail.com
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