About Veterans Services

The Veterans' Services program is mandated according to Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 115 and is administered under State guidelines to provide information, advice and assistance regarding benefits to veterans and their families. Every Town and town in the Commonwealth is required to have a benefits program for its resident veterans and their dependents, as well as a full-time Veterans' Services Officer. The Veterans' Services Officer must be a war-era veteran and be available full time to provide assistance. The Town is reimbursed by the State for 75% of benefits paid under this mandated program. With the support of the Commonwealth's House, Senate and Executive Office, Massachusetts is now recognized as having one of the most comprehensive veterans programs in the nation.

The Office of Veterans' Services, located at 55 Church Street, is a one stop human service office with the top priority of providing services designed to improve the quality of life for every veteran in Town. In addition to Chapter 115, the mission of the Veterans' Services Officer has grown to encompass the full range of Veterans Affairs (VA) federal benefits, rehabilitation, employment and training services, military records, tax exemptions, annuities, burials and care and decoration of veterans graves. Financial assistance to qualified veterans and their dependents is provided, in accordance with State and federal regulations.

Program Implementation

The Veterans' Services Officer responds to daily calls requesting information, advice and assistance. Calls come from Concord residents as well as veterans and dependents from surrounding communities, and the numbers are constantly increasing as a result of the aging veteran population and the fact that more than 26,000 veterans have returned to Massachusetts from Iraq and Afghanistan, according to state records. The Veterans' Services Officer often helps veterans obtain assistance from veterans' organizations as well as other State and federal organizations, such as Social Security. The Veterans' Services Officer has also been called upon to provide transportation to and from medical appointments for veterans. Currently there is one individual receiving financial assistance for qualifying Chapter 115 benefits.

The Veterans' Services Officer has been networking with local civic groups, senior citizen groups and area veterans' organizations - peacetime veterans, war veterans as well as families of service members currently deployed. He has assisted at veterans' funerals, worked with students during Veterans' Day and Memorial Day exercises, served as a guest speaker in some high school and elementary school classes as well as for Rotary Club of Concord, the Lions Club of Concord, Concord Deaconess, and Concord Park Assisted Living. In addition to reaching out to veterans who are seniors, he has generated veteran-related programming for the local cable television channel and articles for the local newspaper about resident veterans and their service to the country. The articles include some facts and perhaps a bit of humor that might be of interest to residents, as well as information on how to contact the local Veterans' Services Officer.