The 2018 Yankee Homecoming Committee is excited to announce the Annual Yankee Homecoming Veteran Luncheon. This luncheon aims to bring our Veterans and their guests together to make new friends, provide on-going resources, and to acknowledge the service that our Veterans gave to this great country. The Veteran Luncheon will be located at the Hope Community Church, 11 Hale Street, Newburyport, MA on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 from 12 noon – 2 pm. We would like the community to extend a special thanks to our luncheon sponsors: Fairway Mortgage, Hampton by Hilton, and Domino’s Pizza.
The program of the luncheon is as follows: Ret. Brigadier General Paul G. Smith will be the Master of Ceremonies for the luncheon. The Guest of Honor is Army Staff Sergeant (Ret.) Zeke Crozier of Handy-Cappin’ will speak about his service related injury and the power of art therapy and recovery. There will be number of guests speaking and sharing about Veteran Resources, Benefits, Programs and their Military Service. Challenge Coins will be gifted to Veterans during a special presentation ceremony.
The Veteran Luncheon has been hosted during Yankee Homecoming for the last 10 years, and managed by Korean War Veteran, Frank Ventura. “Our Veterans are our own National Treasures,” shared local resident and Yankee Homecoming Committee Member Donald Jarvis. “Whether returning recently or during WWII where are eldest Veterans are from – we thank our Veterans for their service and honor them for continuing to share their stories and love for country.”
Further details of the luncheon’s programming are as follow:
Master of Ceremonies: Brigadier General (retired) Paul G. Smith
Brigadier General Smith served as Assistant Adjutant General and Land Component Commander of the Massachusetts National Guard from 2012 to 2014. He commanded Joint Task Force Massachusetts during numerous emergencies including the Western Massachusetts Tornado, Hurricane Irene, Hurricane Sandy, Winter Storms Nemo and Saturn, and the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings. His duties also included Army force development initiatives, such as suicide prevention, drug abuse reduction, sexual assault prevention, resiliency building, and development of diversity programs. He was instrumental in developing United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Republic of Paraguay. During his 35-year military career, he commanded forces at the platoon, company, battalion, and brigade levels. General Smith is a 2005 graduate of the United States Army War College and has served as a visiting instructor there since 2006.
Guest of Honor: Army Staff Sergeant (Retired) Zeke Crozier of Handy-Cappin LLC
Staff Sergeant (Retired) ‘Zeke’ Crozier joined the United States Army in 2004 and served a full nine years. Zeke deployed to Pakistan, Africa, and twice to Afghanistan. In 2011, Zeke was in country only 41 days when his helicopter crashed, and he was severely injured. This life-threatening injury left him retired young and uncertain of his future, until an unknown passion became art therapy. That therapy turned into a business called Handy-Cappin. Zeke donates many pieces to national charities. His artwork brings people happiness and hope, as he continues to serve in a different way. On Wednesday, August 1, 2018, Zeke Crozier’s artwork will be featured at the Inn Street Artisans Revival where his artwork will be displayed and sold.
Each year, the Yankee Homecoming Committee present a special token of appreciation to our Veteran’s. This year a custom Yankee Homecoming Challenge Coin has been made to present to every Veteran as a token of appreciation. Traditionally, Challenge Coins are a symbol of hard work and a job well done — a token of thanks for the achievements in a soldier’s life. Each Challenge Coin has its own story.
Any questions regarding the Veteran Luncheon, please email Donald Jarvis at Veterans@yankeehomecoming.com.
Please note the change in venue. At times, some Veteran’s may struggle with dependency and PTSD challenges. The committee has opted to choose a venue which allows for the greatest level of safety for our Veterans, and most handicap accessible. Our number one priority is the safety and well-being of our Veterans.
About Yankee Homecoming
Yankee Homecoming is a week of innovation, talent and energy that fills Newburyport featuring a broad range of events and exciting activities. This annual celebration offers fun and exciting events for all. Local Newburyport residents and thousands of visitors descend upon Newburyport, allowing performers, artists, vendors and small business owners a chance to shine. From downtown entertainment, fireworks and more, there is no shortage of family-friendly activities to explore throughout the week, including free waterfront concerts, theatrical performances and food vendors serving the best New England bites. For more information, visit http://yankeehomecoming.com.