Veterans Picnic in the Park to Be Held in Wilbraham | Connecting Point | Oct. 3, 2019

Veterans Picnic in the Park to Be Held in Wilbraham | Connecting Point | Oct. 3, 2019


>>THIS SATURDAY, THE VETERAN’S
PECK NICK IN THE PARK’ VENT WILL BE HELD AT SPECK POND IN
WILBURHAM. IT IS DESIGNED TO SUPPORT AND
CONNECT VETERANS WITH SERVICES AND EACH OTHER, WHILE AT THE
SAME TIME ALLOWING THEM AND THEIR FAMILIES TO ENJOY SOME
TIME TOGETHER. WE SAT DOWN WITH A VET VETERAS
AGENCY FOR THE TOWN TO FIND OUT MORE.>>THE EVENT IS CALLED VETERAN’S
PICNIC IN THE PARK. IT WAS A DREAM OF A GROUP FROM
EAST LONG MEADOW IN THE AREA TO TRY TO REACH OUT TO VETERANS AND
THEIR FAMILIES MUCH THE YOUNGER VETERANS THAT WE WERE HAVING A
HARDER TIME REACHING, AND IT BEGAN LAST YEAR. IT WAS JUST KIND OF A FAMILY
EVENT, THEY HAD IT IN EAST LONG MEADOW AND IT — I PARTICIPATED
IN IT AND HAD A TABLE, BUT WASN’T PART OF THE PLANNING. IT WAS DONE RELATIVELY QUICKLY. THEY EXPECTED ABOUT A HUNDRED
PEOPLE, 100 VETERANS AND THEY GOT 300, AND THAT WENT, OKAY, WE
NEED TO ORGANIZE THIS EVEN BETTER. SO THEY CAME TO THE WESTERN MASS
VETERAN’S SERVICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION, THAT’S GROUP OF US
WHO COVER ALL OF WESTERN MASS. WE GOT TOGETHER AND DECIDED IT
WAS TIME TO PLAN IT, REACH OUT TO THE COMMUNITY, GET SOME
SUPPORT FOR IT AND MAKE IT EVEN BIGGER. WE ARE PLANNING TO HAVE IT ON
OCTOBER 5, IT IS AT SPECK MONTH WILBURHAM. WE’VE JUST GOT A COMMUNITY
COLLABORATION AND A LOT OF OPPORTUNITIES TO HAVE A FUN DAY
AND GET SOME CONNECTIONS MADE FOR VETERANS.>>IT IS HARD TO REACH SOME OF
THE YUCKER VETERANS. — YOUNGER VETERANS. WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES THAT
EXIST THIS? I KNOW YOU EVERYBODY ISED IN THE
NAVY AND YOU HAVE A HARD TIME REACHING THEM, A WELL.>>EVERYONE KNOWS THE ATROCITIES
WE DID TO THE YOUNG VIETNAM VETERANS AND IT IS ALMOST LIKE
THE VETERANS TODAY DO THAT TO THEMSELVES. EVEN THOUGH THEY’RE THANKED AND
APPRECIATED FOR THEIR SERVICE, IT IS PRIMARILY BECAUSE THIS
CONFLICT HAS GONE ON SO THRONG IS ALMOST LIKE A MOOT POINT NOW. HE DIDN’T REALLY DO ANYTHING
SPECIAL, EVEN THOUGH THEY PLAY DEPLOYED SEVERAL TEAMS OVERSEAS
THEY DON’T FEEL SO SPECIAL FOR WHAT THEY’VE DONE SO I THINK —
>>CAN I INTERJECT. I THINK IT IS ALSO THE ICATION. BECAUSE BACK IN THE VIETNAM WAR,
OR TO SOME DEGREE THE GULF WAR BUT REALLY VIETNAM, THERE WAS A
DRAFT, EVERYBODY GNAW SOMEBODY WHO WAS SERVE, THINGS LIKE THAT. WE HAD PARENTS AND GRAND PARENTS
IN WORLD WAR II. GREAT NUMBERS. WE HAVE LESS THAN 1% OF THOSE
THAT COULD SERVE ARE SERVING SO YOU HAVE THE SAME PEOPLE GOING
OVER AND OVER AGAIN, TRYING TO COME BACK AND REINTEGRATE BACK
IN THE COMMUNITY AND THEN GO OFF AND COME BACK AND THAT HAS A
TOLL ON BOTH FAMILY AND THE VETERAN AND THEY ALSO FEEL AN
ISOLATION, THEY DON’T SEE LOT OF THEMSELVES OUT IN THE COMMUNITY.>>ABSOLUTELY.>>I THINK THAT A KNOWS ANOTHER
REASON IT IS HARD TO GET TO THEM BECAUSE THEY DON’T FEEL THE
CONNECTION TO COMMUNITY AND WE NEED TO WORK THAT.>>WHAT ARE SOME OF THE
CHALLENGES CAN CHALLENGES YOU FACE?>>BEING A VETERAN WHO SUFFERED
FROM PTSD, STEVE TOUCHED IT JUST RIGHT. GOING AND COMING BACK, GOING AND
COMING BACK, YOU ISOLATE YOURSELF. A LOT OF TIMES YOU MAY FEEL THAT
A LOT OF THESE ISSUES ARE KIND OF YOUR OWN, TOO. WHEN YOU DON’T REALLY REALIZE,
AGAIN, WITH CONNECTING WITH COMMUNITY AND OTHER VETERANS WE
ALL GO THROUGH IT IN SOME FASHION. YEAH, I FEEL THAT AN E
EINVESTIGATE LAKE THIS, WITH THE MOBILE VET CENTER, WITH MENTAL
HEALTH, BEING ABLE TO FEEL YOU ARE A PART OF SOMETHING. BECAUSE ONE THING THE MILITARY
DID YOU SEE MAKE US FEEL LAKE YOU’RE PART OF SOMETHING, SO
WHEN YOU GET OUT, IT IS ALMOST LIKE YOU’RE MISSING THAT FEELING
OF BEING A PART OF SOMETHING. SO IT WOULD BE GREAT TO BE ABLE
TO HAVE THIS EVENT TO SHOW THAT YOU’RE STILL PART OF A COMMUNITY
THAT REALLY DOES CARE BUT.>>RIGHT, AND THERE IS ALL
DIFFERENT TYPES OF SERVICES. HEALTH CARE, EVERYTHING —
>>A VET CENTER TO PEOPLE THAT HELP WITH HOME LOANS TO, YOU
KNOW, AND THEY’VE ALL BEEN VETTED, THERE’S UNOPPRESSED
TORES GOING TO THESE THING — THERE’S NO PREDATORS GOING TO
THESE THINGS. THAT’S ONE THING, A HOT OF
COMPANIES AND BUSINESSES AND NONPROFITSES, I AM ON A
COMMITTEE IN MASS, HELPING PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THE VETERAN
WORLD AND MILITARY CULTURE BECAUSE THEY DON’T, BUT THESE
PEOPLE THAT ARE AT THIS DO. THEY’RE GOING TO BE JUST EVERY
KIND OF SERVICE YOU CAN THINK OF AND THERE IS GOING TO BE A
BOUNCY HOUSE.>>WHICH IS A BIG ATTRACTION. I THINK A FISHING –Y AS DEK
BOOGAARDY, AS DEREK S WELL, FOR THE KIDS.>>YES, FROM 10:00 BEFORE THE
CEREMONY STARTS UNTIL ABOUT 11:45 IS WHEN WE WILL CUT IT
BECAUSE THE CEREMONY FOR THE ACTUAL EVENT IS AT NOON.>>THE CEREMONY ENTAILS?>>JUST A WELCOMING, DOING THE
PARADE OF COLORS, SINGING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM AND A COUPLE
POLITICIANS HAD ES WILL SPEAKI.>>TELL ME ABOUT THE 9/11 WALL
OP DISPLAY.>>THE 9/11 WALL, IT IS
ORIGINALLY STATIONED DOWN, I THINK IN RICHMOND, VIRGINIA. THIS SEAWALL BEAUTIFUL, I’VE
ONLY SEEN PICTURES OF IT, IF YOU REMEMBERS ALL THOSE WHO LOST
THEIR LIVES FROM 9/11 ALL THE WAY UP UNTIL TODAY AND IT IS PUT
TOGETHER WITH DOG TAGS OF THOSE WHO LOST THEIR LIVES.>>WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT WE
ARE JUST CELEBRATING THE 18th ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11 WHICH TO ME
SEEMS UNBELIEVABLE BUT TO ALL THESE PEOPLE IN THE MILITARY AND
SERVING AND THOSE STILL SERVING IN HARM’S WAY RIGHT NOW, DO YOU
EVER WORRY THAT PEOPLE, LIKE IT IS A DISTANT MEMORY AND PEOPLE
FORGET. IS THAT WHY THESE EVENTS WERE SO
IMPORTANT TO SHOW THEIR SUPPORT.>>YEAH, WE CAN GO WAY BACK SO
WE WENT INTO AFGHANISTAN AND TWO YEARS LATER, WE THAT WASN’T IRAQ
AND EVERYBODY WHO IS SERVING IN SAG LIKE, WHAT ABOUT US? — IN AFGHANISTAN, LAKE WHAT
ABOUT US? THAT HAS GONE UP AND DOWN BUT IT
PRETTY MUCH HAS CONTINUED. IT DOESN’T MAKE THE LOCAL NEWS
UNLESS LAKE THE GENTLEMAN FROM CHICKAPEA PASSED, A QUICK
REMINDER AND THEN THEY GET BACK ON THEIR LIVES. IT IS UNDERSTANDABLE, BUT THERE
ARE PEOPLE, FAMILIES, KIDS WHOSE PARENTS ARE BEINGTY PLOYED THAT
WE HAVE TO — BEING DEPLOYED THAT WE HAVE TO THINK ABOUT. IF WE DON’T GET THEM INTO THE
COMMUNITY, IT IS GREAT TO SAY THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE, THAT
IS A REALLY SWEET THING TO SAY, IT DOESN’T GO NEARLY FAR ENOUGH
TO SAY YOU’RE THE KID WHO LIVED NEXT DOOR, DOWN THE STREET, I
CARE ABOUT YOU, I CARE WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU.

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