For your information and to share with others in your community, below and attached, you will find a list of upcoming Veteran ceremonies, activities and outreach events in our region.
As always, if you have a Veteran-related event, please send a summary of the event to me and I will add it to my next update.
If you’d prefer to not receive this list, please send me a note and I will remove you from my distribution.
Community Outreach Specialist
VA New England Healthcare System
2017 SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND OUTREACH CALENDAR (as of 2 MAY 17)
FREE Veterans Luncheons and Networking
Springfield: Mondays, 1-2pm. Bilingual Veterans Outreach Centers of Mass., Inc., 281 Franklin St.
Northampton: Wednesdays, 12-1:30. World War II Club, “The Deuce,” 50 Conz St.
Holyoke: Thursdays, 12-1:30. St. Paul’s Auditorium, 485 Appleton St.
Greenfield: Thursdays, 12-1:30. Lodge of Elks #1296, 2 Church St., #5.
West Springfield: Last Wed. of the month 11:30-1 Grace Lutheran Church 1552 Westfield St. West Springfield
Springfield Mobile Vet Center & VA Health Care Eligibility / Enrollment: A Veterans Health Administration enrollment outreach specialist and the Springfield Vet Center is at the World War II Club in Northampton, 50 Conz St., Northampton, Mass., every First Wednesday of every month from noon to 2 p.m.
Springfield Mobile Vet Center is in Pittsfield, Mass., on the following dates in 2017: May 5, 8, 19, 22; June 2, 5, 16, 19, 30; July 3, 14, 17, 28, 31; August 11, 14, 25, 28; September 8, 11, 22, 25; October 8, 11, 22, 25; November 3, 6, 17, 20; and December 1, 4, 15, 18, 29.
Warrior’s Art Room meets Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Springfield Vet Center, 95 Ashley Avenue, West Springfield, Mass. Space, supplies and instruction for creating art provided free for Veterans and family members.
Call (413) 737-5167 for more information.
Friday BBQ at the Springfield Vet Center, 95 Ashley Avenue, West Springfield. Dates are May 19, June 30, July 28, and August 25. No cost for Veterans and family members. Call (413) 737-5167 for more information.
3 May, Wednesday – “Haunted by Combat: A Humanistic Approach to Working with PTSD in Veterans.” 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., William James College, One Wells Avenue, Newton, Mass. This is a continuing professional education program with Stanley Krippner, PhD, presenter. For more information, contact Karina Wallace at email@example.com.
4-7 May, Thursday-Sunday – The Wall That Heals, Bridgeport, Conn., at the National Association of Naval Veterans, Port 5.
6 May, Saturday – Southeastern Massachusetts Veterans Expo 2017, resource and benefits fair, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Elks Lodge, 24 High St., Middleboro, Mass. Free cookout and live music, state and VA benefits, giveaways and recreation information, military vehicle displays, legal support and advice, warrior networking, housing programs, healthy lifestyle tips, employment and careers, kids activities. For more information, go to www.eventbrite.com and search for Southeast Mass Veterans Expo or call (508) 958-3557 or email VABostonVets@va.gov.
7 May, Sunday – Sign Dedication for Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge, South Hadley, Mass. This event will take place during the Holyoke/South Hadley River Roll and Stroll event between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. with a Veterans parade being scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. to honor Veterans at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge, Route 116, over the Connecticut River between Holyoke and South Hadley. For more information, contact Brian Willette at (413) 262-1031.
9, 16, 23 and 30 May – Massachusetts Women Veterans’ Network Diabetes Self-Care Classes, 1 to 3:30 p.m., Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea, 60 Hillside Avenue in the Keville Building, Chelsea, Mass. Class will cover how to manage your diabetes, dealing with stress, healthy choices, and creating an action plan. For more information, call Kelsey at (781) 349-7819 or Pat at (781) 287-9158.
9-12 May, Tuesday-Friday – The Patriot Resilient Leader Institute is holding a retreat to help Veterans with PTSD that will focus on anger management and relaxation techniques. Retreat takes place at the New Hampshire Fire Academy in the Lakes Region. Activities will include kayaking, hiking, yoga, water aerobics as well as various wellness workshops. For more information, go to www.prli.us or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (603) 520-3989.
11 May, Thursday – Workforce Central Career Centers Job Fair, Central New England’s largest annual job fair, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., DCU Center in Worcester. Free for all job seekers. Meet employers from all industries. Contact the Workforce Central Career Centers at (508) 373-7655 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
17 May, Wednesday – Aquatic Kayak Therapy offered through the Springfield Vet Center and Holyoke Rows, incorporating mindfulness, focusing and awareness through kayaking, breathing and body awareness exercises, sitting and mindful paddling process on the water. Sessions are free. First session begins May 17. For more information, contact Rebecca Padberg at (413) 737-5167.
19-21 May, Friday-Sunday – Women Veterans Retreat sponsored by Project New Hope Inc. Enders Island, 1 Enders Island, Mystic, Conn. For more information, call (774) 243-7859. Register at www.projectnewhopema.org/retreats
20-21 May, Saturday-Sunday – Rhode Island National Guard Open House and Air Show. Quonset State Airport, North Kingstown, R.I. Canadian Snowbirds will headline.
20 May, Saturday – Homeward Vets 5K Fun Run, Look Park, Northampton, Mass. Course goes from Look Park to VA Medical Center in Leeds and back. Music concert will be held in the afternoon featuring tribute bands covering the music of Tom Petty, Alice Cooper and Allman Brothers will follow the run at the Pines Theater. Registration for the race is from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. with race starting at 11 a.m. Bands will perform from noon to 6 p.m. Food and refreshments available throughout the day. Registration for the fun run at runreg.com or at homewardvets.org.
20 May, Saturday – 6th Annual Victory4Veterans Motorcycle Run to benefit the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke. 10 a.m. More than 1,500 riders are expected to travel the 50-plus mile course that begins at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke and ends at Eastern States Exposition (The Big E) in West Springfield. An after-event party features live music, a BBQ, and vendor booths. Visit victory4veterans.com for more information.
21 May, Sunday – Veterans of Foreign Wars District 7 (Massachusetts) Riders Meeting. Veteran motorcycle riders are invited to meet at 1 p.m. at the VFW Post in Florence, Mass. After May, the meetings will take place every second Sunday of the month unless there is a holiday weekend. For more information, contact Ken White at email@example.com.
23 May, Tuesday – Military Hiring Fair, career event, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Fenway Park, 4 Yawkey Way, Boston. This is a one-of-a-kind event featuring a hiring fair, networking opportunities and workshops tailored for Veteran job seekers, active-duty military members, guard and reserve members, and military spouses. Participants are eligible to receive up to two free tickets to attend that evening’s game between the Boston Red Sox and the Texas Rangers. At 9:30 a.m., a free employment workshop for job seekers will feature resume building, networking, and interview tips. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Employers and military job seekers register at HiringOurHeroes.org.
23 May, Tuesday – “Opioid and Substance Abuse: Working with Elders and their Families.” A half-day conference for elder-serving professionals and caregivers. 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Services, 10 Lincoln Square, Worcester, Mass. Presented by the Worcester County Elder Abuse Prevention Roundtable and the Central Mass Agency on Aging. For more information, call (508) 756-1545, extension 390.
23 May, Tuesday – “Aging Veterans and Poly-Trauma: Examining the Mental Health of Aging Veterans from a Human Ecology Perspective.” 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. The Crystal Ballroom, Middletown Elks Club, 44 Maynard St., Middletown, Conn. Information for clinicians and Veteran behavioral health specialists with topics focused on poly-trauma and post-deployment care. Hosted by the Gatekeeper School for Holistic Aging and Ecological Integration. For registration information, visit www.stlukescommunityservices.org.
24 May, Wednesday – North Central Mass Veterans Muster, 5 to 7 p.m., Thomas P. Sweeney American Legion Post 142, 132 Williams Road, Ashburnham, Mass. Information about Veteran services and opportunity to meet fellow Veterans. All Veterans are welcome. For more information, contact Greg Smith at email@example.com.
29 May, Monday – Memorial Day Service at VA Chapel on the VA Northampton medical center campus in Leeds, 11 a.m.
9 Jun, Friday – Worcester Plantation Street Blind Rehabilitation Services Information Fair. State agencies that assist the visually impaired will meet at the Plantation Street clinic of VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System in Worcester. 9 a.m. start time. Organizations interested in participating should contact VA CWM HCS at (413) 584-4040 ext. 2582.
9 Jun, Friday – Hot Dogs for Hot Jobs Career Fair, 1 to 3 p.m., Heritage Park, 221 Appleton St., Holyoke. Rain date is Friday, 16 Jun. Contact Linda Candage, Veteran employment representative, for more information at (413) 322-7147.
9-11 Jun, Friday-Sunday – Traumatic Brain Injury Retreat sponsored by Project New Hope Inc. Grotonwood Camp and Conference Center, 167 Prescott St., Groton, Mass. For more information, call (774) 243-7859. Register at www.projectnewhopema.org/retreats
11 Jun, Sunday – 6th Annual 5K Walk/Run to support military personnel and Veterans in need of assistance. Walk/Run takes place at the Massachusetts Correction Officers Federated Union, 159 South Main St., Milford, Mass. Registration at 8:30 a.m.; walk start at 9:45 a.m.; race start at 10 a.m. Register online at racemenu.com/military-peer-5K/. First 100 entries receive a T-shirt. For more information, contact Sgt. Keith Germain at (508) 509-9419 or CPO Keri Volk at (978) 514-6500, extension 6081.
15-18 Jun, Thursday-Sunday – The Wall That Heals, Haverhill, Mass. Sponsored by Haverhill Veterans Council.
16 Jun, Friday – Worcester Veterans Inc. Stand Down, 69 Grove St., Worcester, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event provides counseling and substance abuse referrals, employment assistance and training, healthcare services, housing resources, legal services, wellness activities and a career fair. Veterans and their families are also able to receive free clothing, meals, haircuts, and personal care items. Call (800) 482-2565 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
22 Jun, Thursday – U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Town Hall in Pittsfield, Mass., hosted by VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System. Time and location to be announced. Town Hall question and answer forum for Veterans and family members with Veterans Health Administration, Veterans Benefits Administration and National Cemetery Administration.
24 Jun, Saturday – 4th Annual Gold Star Run, presented by the Massachusetts Chapter of Honor and Remember. Waterfront Tavern, Holyoke, Mass. This year’s run is honoring SPC Kenneth J. Iwasinski and SGT Christopher M. Wilson and their Gold Star Mothers. Registration at 9 a.m. with kick stands up at noon. 1.5 hour motorcycle ride through Holyoke, Palmer, Ware, Granby, Belchertown and South Hadley with barbecue lunch, raffles, flag presentation and afternoon of live music. For more information, call (413) 378-8541 or (860) 463-0567.
7-9 Jul, Friday-Sunday – Gold Star Veteran Families Retreat sponsored by Project New Hope Inc. Enders Island, 1 Enders Island, Mystic, Conn. For more information, call (774) 243-7859. Register at www.projectnewhopema.org/retreats
22 Jul, Saturday – One Call Away Foundation 2nd Annual Bike Ride and BBQ, 8 a.m., Whalley Park, Southwick, Mass. One Call Away aids in PTSD awareness and in the prevention of Veteran suicide. For more information, contact email@example.com or on the web at onecallawayfoundation.org.
23 Jul, Sunday – Valley Blue Sox baseball Military Appreciation Night, 5:05 p.m., at Mackenzie Stadium, Holyoke, Mass. The Valley Blue Sox are a summer collegiate baseball team that plays in the New England Collegiate Baseball League.
26 Jul, Wednesday — U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Town Hall in Fitchburg, Mass., hosted by VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System. Time and location to be announced. Town Hall question and answer forum for Veterans and family members with Veterans Health Administration, Veterans Benefits Administration and National Cemetery Administration.
28 Jul, Friday – Worcester Bravehearts Military Appreciation Night, 7:05 p.m., at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field, in Worcester, Mass. The Worcester Bravehearts are a summer collegiate baseball team based in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, that plays in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League of New England
04 Aug, Friday – VA Lake Avenue Specialty Care Clinic Open House & Veteran Community Forum, University of Massachusetts Medical School Campus, Worcester, Mass. Time to be announced.
12-13 Aug, Saturday-Sunday – Westfield International Air Show, Barnes Air National Guard Base, Westfield, Mass.
17-22 Aug – Vietnam War Moving Wall, Wareham, Mass. Wareham Middle School. Sponsored by Wareham Veterans Council.
24 Aug, Thursday — U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Town Hall in Greenfield, Mass., hosted by VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System. Time and location to be announced. Town Hall question and answer forum for Veterans and family members with Veterans Health Administration, Veterans Benefits Administration and National Cemetery Administration.
25 Aug, Friday – 30th Anniversary of the Bilingual Veterans Outreach Centers of Massachusetts “Honoring our Heroes” Gala. Time and more info TBD. The Log Cabin, 500 Easthampton Road, Holyoke.
26-27 Aug, Saturday-Sunday – Great Maine Air Show. Brunswick Executive Airport, 15 Terminal Road, Brunswick, Maine. Blue Angels will headline.
27 Aug-1 Sep, Sunday-Friday — Caregivers Retreat sponsored by Project New Hope Inc. Oceanwood Camp & Conference, 17 Royal St., Ocean Park, Maine. For more information, call (774) 243-7859. Register at www.projectnewhopema.org/retreats
1 Sep, Friday – Veterans Appreciation Day at The 3 County Fair, Northampton, Mass.
8 Sep, Friday – Springfield Vet Center Car Show, 95A Ashley Ave., West Springfield, Mass.
11 Sep, Monday – U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Summit, War Memorial Building, Holyoke, Mass. This summit, hosted by the VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System, is for veteran service providers and mental health clinicians in collaborating and learning together about community efforts to assist Veterans and their family members. 8:30 a.m. registration and 9 a.m. start. More information to be announced.
15 Sep, Friday – The Big E Military Appreciation Day, the nation’s largest VA outreach event, Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield, Mass., along the Avenue of States, sponsored by VA New England Healthcare System.
24 Sep, Sunday – Durham Fair Veterans Appreciation Day, Durham, Conn.
29 Sep, Friday – Western Mass Stand Down. Greek Cultural Center, Springfield. Hosted by the Bilingual Veterans Outreach Center in Springfield. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. More than 75 Veteran-related vendors and Veteran services, including Registry of Motor Vehicles, Commonwealth of Massachusetts identification cards, government surplus items, VA health care and local community-based veteran programs.
30 Sep, Sunday – Combined Golf Tournament with Project New Hope, United States Public Health Service, and Commissioned Officers Association (New England Branch). Heritage Country Club, 85 Sampson Road, Charlton, Mass. For more information, contact tournament administrator, CDR Robyn Coons, at (978) 796-1084 or (508) 887-6264, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
13-15 Oct, Friday-Sunday – LGBTQ Veterans Retreat sponsored by Project New Hope Inc. Grotonwood Camp and Conference Center, 167 Prescott St., Groton, Mass. For more information, call (774) 243-7859. Register at www.projectnewhopema.org/retreats
3-6 Nov, Friday to Monday – 90-Mile March Supporting Our Veterans. March to raise awareness for Veterans suffering from PTSD and Veterans who are homeless. March is open to Veterans, parents of Veterans and Gold Star family members. Departs from AmVets Post 12, 754 Montgomery St., Chicopee, Mass., at 5 a.m., Nov. 6 and ends at the State House in Boston at 2 p.m. Nov. 6. Go to 90milemarch.com for more information.
11 Nov, Saturday – 2 p.m. Veterans Day service at VA Leeds.
11 Nov, Saturday – Veterans Day Football Game and Tailgating Party, Westfield State University. Doors open at 11 a.m. at the Horace Mann Building, 333 Western Avenue, Westfield Mass., with game starting at noon. Free for active-duty military, Guard, Reserve, Veterans and their immediate family.
3 Dec, Sunday – 11:30 a.m. DAV Day Service at VA Leeds.
10 Dec, Sunday – 6 p.m. Holiday Candlelight Service at VA Leeds.