Yankee Homecoming Veterans Luncheon 2018

Yankee Homecoming Veterans Luncheon 2018

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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.

Challenge Coins 

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

Thanks to our Sponsors

Santa Visits, Veterans Wreaths, and a Christmas Party at a Celtics Game. December 2017

Community Santa Home Visits in Newburyport and area Selective Dates in December (1 – 24)

Don’t miss the opportunity for your child to have Santa, Mrs. Claus or one of Santa’s Elves stop by for a home visit. Santa will be taking time out of his busy schedule to visit good children in the Greater Newburyport Area. The visitors from the North Pole will arrives with gifts, take some Santa Selfies and photographs, and listen to the children’s wish lists. The Santa Home Visits program has been running for three years in the Newburyport and surrounding area. Another similar Santa gift giving group in the area is Ozzie’s Kids in Haverhill who delivers more than 600 gifts each year to Haverhill’s residents. Visit http://www.CommunitySanta.org and Message Santa’s Elves to schedule your special visit

Newbury Wreath Laying Ceremony — Saturday, December 16 at 11 am

Remember. Honor. Teach. On Saturday, December 16th at 11 am, we are seeking volunteers to place wreaths on Veteran gravestones at seven Newbury Burial Grounds and Cemeteries. To volunteer in the wreath laying ceremony, help place the wreaths in the cemeteries, or other volunteer needs leading up Wreath Day please contact us at newburywreaths@gmail.com.

Boston Celtics Acknowledge Vietnam Veterans on December 23.

This year, the Boston Celtics are hosting a special event celebrating the heroism and acknowledging the service of more than two dozen Vietnam Veterans. Nominate your favorite Vietnam Veteran (can self-nominate or a loved one can nominate) to be entered into a lottery to win one of sixteen tickets. The featured game is on Saturday December 23 at the TD Garden with the Boston Celtics taking on the Chicago Bulls. Requests can be submitted via email to Don Jarvis at jarvis.don@gmail.com or to Andrew LaCourse at andrew.lacourse@comcast.net.

Emergency Medical Care for Veterans Become Discussion in Massachusetts

As you may already know, since January 2016 I have been working with numerous State Representatives and State Senators on improving Emergency Medical Care and Services for Veterans on the state level. Although this is a Federal level issue, I feel it’s important for Massachusetts to continue to be the leading example on addressing some many important issues. 

On Wednesday, October 25 at 2pm in Hearing Room B2 the Veterans and Federal Affairs committee will be hosting a Public Hearing on ‘An Act establishing emergency medical services for veterans’ – Bill H.2765. This public hearing testimonials will be shared with the committee either in person or presented in a letter. This legislation would make it so all veterans could utilize local emergency rooms for medical emergencies at no expense to the veteran. In the cases where the VA won’t pay the emergency room bill, and the veteran does not have health insurance then MassHealth would cover the cost of treatment. Not everyone who served in the military qualifies for VA Healthcare, not all veterans are eligible for VA Healthcare, and the VA is not obligated to pay for emergency room visits. 

This is can be a huge stress and burden for the veteran, or hold them back from getting their medical emergency addressed because they fear having to deal with the bill. Those who do seek treatment without coverage can face bad credit for not being able to pay for the bill. This legislation will help avoid all of those issues, and will allow veterans get receive emergency medical care with no bill.  

When we are in an emergency our veterans are there for us, now it’s time for us to be there for them when they are in an emergency. I feel we owe it to our veterans to have their backs when they need us most. 

I am seeking veterans who would be interested in showing their support in favor of this bill with a testimony. It would be great if we could throw a lot of support behind this legislation, either by you in person to the State House and testify or provide a written testimony which would be delivered to the Committee. 

I will need all written testimonials by Monday, October 23. 

Please share this request and note with any veterans you may know. 

Thank you!

Town should adopt tax break program for veterans

Earlier this year, I proposed to the Newbury selectmen that they should consider adopting a program to help veterans who own property in town. 
Now, I have a question for the residents of Newbury: Would you be in favor of the town of Newbury adopting M.G.L. Chapter 59 Section 5N — “Reduction of property tax obligation of veteran in exchange for volunteer services”?

By adopting this Mass. General Law, Newbury can establish a program to allow veterans, or a spouse of a veteran in the case where the veteran is deceased or has a service-connected disability, to volunteer to provide services to the town.

Now, in exchange for their volunteer services, the town will reduce the property tax obligations of the veteran. This reduction will be in addition to any exemption or abatement of which otherwise they are entitled to.

The veteran (or spouse) cannot be credited more than the current minimum wage of the state’s minimum wage per hour rate. The reduction of the property tax bill may not exceed $1,000 in a given tax year.

The town would have the power to create local rules and procedures for implementing this program in a way that is consistent with the intent of this program if they choose to adopt this program. It is important to note that adopting this program cannot cause a reduction of workforce or replace existing staff and or positions.

The amount of money reduced of the veteran’s property tax is not considered income, wages or employment. While they volunteer for the town, the veteran will be considered a public employee for the purposes of Chapter 258 and their services will be considered employment for the purposes of unemployment insurance as provided in Chapter 151A.

The selectmen by vote may change the exemption in this program by: (i) allowing a representative for the veterans who are physically unable to provide services to the town; or (ii) allowing the maximum reduction of the property tax bill be based on 125 volunteer hours in a tax year, rather than the $1,000 maximum reduction.

Would you be in favor of Newbury adopting this program? We already have one similar to this for senior citizens in town and some of our surrounding communities have already adopted it.

On Tuesday, Oct. 24, at Newbury’s Special Town Meeting, there will be a vote on whether the town should adopt this or not. I personally think the town should; it would be a great way for the town to show their appreciation and support for veterans.

Thank you all for your consideration on adopting this program in the town of Newbury. This is a small gesture to our veterans in town.

Yankee Homecoming 2017 – Veteran’s Luncheon

Yankee Homecoming 2017 – Veteran’s Luncheon

Photo Credit: Byron Eaton – Newburyport Daily News

On August 1, 2017 Yankee Homecoming hosted their annual Veteran’s Luncheon. This event was started by Frank Ventura, a Korean War veteran and long time Newburyport resident. It was sponsored by his son Dan Ventura at Fairway Mortgage of Newburyport.

It’s been an honor to carry on this great tradition started by Frank. This year, over 120 veterans and their guests enjoyed a delicious meal at the Veteran Luncheon. The meal consisted of Pulled Pork sandwiches and coleslaw from Rusty Can in Byfield, MA. The salad and vegetables were donated by Vets & Veggies in Athol, MA. The coffee was donated by Battle Grounds Coffee Company in Haverhill, MA and Cares O-lot Confections provided a delicious American Flag cake along with other assorted desserts. Family and friends also donated desserts and other items.

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An Act of Kindness Has A Bigger Impact then You Think!

I recently got an email from New England Center and Home for Veterans thanking for me taking veterans from the center to a Red Sox game, a couple Celtics games, and a Bruins game a few years ago. Back in 2015, I treated 18 veterans to an Red Sox with the help of Larry Lucchino. With the help of his staff the veterans who attended enjoyed the game from an executive suite, with a pig roast, food buffet and a baseball hat for everyone of them (all courtesy of the Boston Red Sox). On top of that I was also able to raise $2,000 which was donated to the education department at NECHV.
Since then, the Red Sox have been giving NECHV a steady supply of tickets now when they have them. It’s great to hear such great news and I’m very happy to see this as a result. Although the center accredits me for being instrumental in setting this up, I feel the Red Sox deserve all the credit for this continued work of serving veterans. Going to sporting events and concerts can be very therapeutic. This email has certainly made my week. I can’t wait to get a tour of the new remodel of the faculty on Court Street in Boston.

First Parish Burying Ground, Newbury Ma

First Parish Burying Ground, Newbury Ma

me1Located on High Rd in Newbury, Massachusetts. The First Parish Burying Ground is home to several First Settler’s as well as several veterans that have served in wars including American Revolution War, Civil War, World War I and World War II.

This project began in the summer of 2015, one year after become the Veteran Grave Officer. In my first year I placed the flags and going off very limited information and guidance, and prior to me there was no official Veteran Grave Officer appointed in Newbury. I realized that the records of the veterans in this cemetery were non existent. I just walked around and tried to find old flags and clues around headstones.

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182nd Engineer Company Send-off / 9-11 Ten Year Anniversary

182nd Engineer Company Send-off / 9-11 Ten Year Anniversary

 

9/11 Ten Year Anniversary Field Ceremony

Arranged a special pre-game field ceremony in part of the 9/11 remembrance ceremony at Fenway Park. The special pre-game ceremony honored and recognized a local Massachusetts Army National Guard Unit set to deploy that Thanksgiving. The service members stood at the base of the left field wall an American Flag covered the wall they stood in front of. All service members that were part of the ceremony received a complimentary ticket to watch the game as well.

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Honor Our Veterans: Help Place Grave Flags for Memorial Day

Honor Our Veterans: Help Place Grave Flags for Memorial Day

image1Every year for Memorial Day flags are placed throughout country at the graves of our veterans.  In Newbury these flags are placed at First Parish Burying Ground, Thomas Parker Cemetery, First Settler’s Burying Ground, Evergreen Cemetery, Old Town Cemetery, Newbury Neck Cemetery, Old Byfield Burying Ground, and the Byfield Cemetery. Between all of these cemeteries roughly 750 flags are place each year.

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Wreath Across America, Newbury Ma

Wreath Across America, Newbury Ma

Wreaths Across America, a nationwide program that places wreaths on veteran graves in honor of their service during the holiday season. WAA strives to Remember, Honor, and Teach. Remember the fallen; Honor those who serve; and Teach our children the value of freedom. The program allows an opportunity to raise money. In Newbury, the money raised is put towards helping maintain, repair and care for veteran graves, and veteran monuments in town.