On May 31st, the Shaw Memorial was defaced. This monument was created to honor the memory and service of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment. The Massachusetts 54th Regiment was an all black infantry unit that served honorably during the Civil War.
I talked to Shawn Quigley from the National Parks Service in Boston. I learned so much about the Massachusetts 54th, and what this monument means to the African American community.
There are lessons around the Massachusetts 54th and the Shaw Memorial that resonate in today’s world. The Shaw Monument is being renovated at this time. I am looking forward to seeing its unveiling in 2021.
I got an email from listener about The Moving Wall. This monument is half the size of the original Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. There was an oppurtunity to talk with Veterans in Attleboro, MA about how this exhibit is coming to Attleboro, MA.
The Attleboro Veterans Service Officer, Ken Badertscher, along with two Vietnam Veterans came to Attleboro VFW Post 115 to talk with me about their experiences and what The Moving Wall meant to them.
As we began talking it became clear that the Vietnam War was still fresh on their minds. Both Vietnam War Veterans said that they had been healing even after all these years.. The Moving Wall shows them they are not forgotten.
And that is really the core issue with many Vietnam Veterans. For a long time, America forgot about them. America did not honor their service. These Vietnam Veterans who are alive today and are reminded of that fact. However, they are hopeful because of events like The Moving Wall. Seeing the entire city of Attleboro come together to bring this event to the region means that younger generations want to ensure stories are told. The sacrifices and ones lost will be remembered as those who answered the call, or in the case of the Vietnam War, those who didn’t have a choice to serve.
I will be going to this event, and I am looking forward to talking with these Veterans again. You all are not forgotten.
I have lived in Massachusetts for a while. Well, a long while at this point. I am still surprised when fellow Veterans tell me they don’t know their Veterans Service Officer. Massachusetts has taken many steps to ensure Veterans have access to services and benefits. One of the ways this is accomplished is via the Veterans Service Officer. The person in charge of VSOs as they are called is the Secretary of Veterans Services. It was an honor to speak with the current Secretary of Veterans Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Francisco Urena.
This was a great oppurtunity to get information that Veterans can use from the person who is in charge of taking care of us. Secretary Urena went through what VSOs and his office do to address Veteran’s needs in Massachusetts.
We also talked about a recent event where the Town of Weymouth worked with their VSO and Department of Veterans Services. The event was Scott Lobaido’s sculpture to raise awareness about PTS and Veteran’s Suicide. This was an example of a lot of people coming together to present this impactful sculpture to across the entire state of Massachusetts.
I wanted to get Secretary Urena’s perspective on Veteran’s Non-Profits. There is always a concern of how effective an organization can be when there are so many who are working in the same space. Secretary Urena said that resources are not the problem in Massachusetts. The issue is connecting Veterans to those organizations and resources that can provide assistance.
Whether it is an organization or individual looking to help Veterans, the Department of Veterans Services exists to ensure all Veterans in Massachusetts have a “hand up” when needed. Every Veteran in Massachusetts has an advocate where they reside to assist. We are not alone.
I want to say thank you to Secretary Urena and his staff for working to make this interview happen. I learned a lot and gained a better appreciation for how Veterans are served in Massachusetts. Semper Fidelis
Thanks to my sponsor Joyce Asack for supporting Veterans!
Bill reached out to me on Facebook Messenger about coming on Oscar Mike Radio. He asked me if I would come out and talk to him at his headquarters in Worcester, MA. I headed up on cold morning in February and found the office pretty easily.
I met Bill and said introduced myself. The first thing that stood out were all the coats and toys in his office. He explained that they were a donation from UNUM Insurance Company https://www.unum.com/ and would be given to children of Veterans in need.
Bill got a laugh out of me with some good natured ribbing about me being a Marine. I had learned about Bill’s Air Force Career and gained a massive amount of respect for what he did when he served.
We moved the conversation to how Bill got Project New Hope off the ground. There is this desire that Bill has to serve and be of service. Meeting the other volunteers who popped in and out to work the mission was one of the highlights of the day.
There is also a Project New Hope Office in Westfield, MA. By car is it 60 miles one way to Westfield. That is a lot of ground to cover for any non profit organization. Bill and his team are committed to Veterans and I was glad to make the trip to meet everyone. A big shout out to BOSE for supplying headphones to troops. Thanks for my pair Bill, they sounded great!
Episode 123 – Veteran Owned Veteran Operated with Jonathan Gosselin
I love getting to talk with Veterans who have gotten out and started a business or non – profit. In many cases, the work required to remake oneself is daunting and it is hard on a good day.
Jonathan Gosselin is an Army and Navy Veteran. He owns and operates Veteran Owned Veteran Owned Printing. Check out his website https://vovoprints.com/ and you can get an idea of what he does. Let me put it to you like this, there isn’t much Jonathan Gosselin can’t do for you. I listed item after item that I wanted to have Oscar Mike Radio on and he said he could do it.
So what John and I wanted to do was Livecast from his store. He is doing a clothes drive for Veterans and has a lot of promotions going on for Christmas. I was pumped. John had done work on my logo and we had talked about doing something different for VOVO and Oscar Mike Radio.
What we decided to do is have me come down to his store (VOVO is located at 1540 Bedford St.
Abington, MA) and LiveCast. I have not done many of these, but I want to do more of this kind of work because I learn so much from getting away from my static location.
I had a lot of fun, and learned a lot about how a person like Jonathan can use what he has learned in the military to make it in the business world. He is helping me with some aspects of Oscar Mike Radio, but the real story here again is his clothes drive and willingness to take care of the customer regardless of their need.
Oscar Mike Radio will be doing more of these remote livecasts in 2019. I am looking forward to coming back to VOVO and seeing what else John has working in his store. You won’t want to miss it. We are On the Move!