Veterans of Foreign Wars
Department of Massachusetts
When a young person raises their right hand taking the oath of enlistment to serve in the U.S. Military, he or she willingly accepts the inherent risks associated with defending our country.
Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen are trained to fight our nation’s enemies under adverse conditions in any environment.
After leaving the military, however, these veterans are much less prepared to fight for benefits earned while serving during an overseas campaign.
Fortunately, due to the steadfast support of the men and women of the VFW in Massachusetts and across the country, these veterans know that they will not be fighting this battle alone.
VFW State Service Officers are staunch advocates for veterans seeking advice relative to managing the byzantine process of accessing VA benefits. Any veterans, regardless of service, stateside or overseas, members or not, can seek assistance from the VFW.
Delray Dorsey is the State Service Officer for Massachusetts and a Gulf War Navy veteran. He understands the frustration felt by campaign veterans seeking help with the VA and his staff is specifically trained to handle federal claims on their behalf.
“They come into the office looking for guidance and from start to finish, we are working with that veteran,” said Dorsey from his office on the 15th floor of the JFK Federal Building in downtown Boston.
“We help them wade through the bureaucratic red tape and whatever resources that the veteran needs, we help provide it,” said Dorsey, who also serves as Post Commander for VFW Post 1399 In Weymouth, Mass.
A certified EMT, Dorsey possesses a granular understanding of the medical nuances related to many VA claims. As well, his assistant Leah LaPointe is a paralegal and brings her expertise to her role as claims consultant and office manager. She has served in this position for seven years.
Dorsey describes Lapointe as the ‘backbone of the office.’
I enjoy helping people,” said LaPointe with a bright smile.
“You aren’t going to get rich doing this job and you have to want to help someone, who better than someone who served our country? asked the Jamaica Plain native.
Certain cases take years to resolve and if the outcome is favorable to the veteran, LaPointe shares their sense of relief.
“We do the research, take the time and intervene when we need to,” said Lapointe whose father and husband are both veterans.
“I have had the unique experience of telling someone good news and they cry, then I cry” she laughed. “It’s extremely rewarding,” she added.
Both Dorsey and Lapointe, armed with their respective medical and legal expertise, comprise a strong team representing the Boston VFW office.
“When a veteran comes in for help with a claim, they are never handed a packet of paperwork to fill out. We manage the paperwork and the only thing they leave here with is a handshake, a business card and a smile,” he said.
Veterans are encouraged to contact Delray at firstname.lastname@example.org and Leah at email@example.com or call 617-303-5689 for assistance with VA related claims.
“Our door is always open,” said Dorsey.
The Boston VFW office is located at the JFK Federal Building Suite 1500C, Boston Ma. 02203
Under normal conditions, Jayme Besse juggles whatever challenges come his way. A few months ago, however, the New Bedford resident found himself in an abnormal circumstance. In a mere 48 hours, he and his family faced eviction from their home
Besse, 34, has served in the Massachusetts Army National Guard for 18 years and confronted his share of challenges during his military career. As a member of the 164th Transportation Battalion. Besse deployed to Iraq twice, Kuwait once and was activated for several domestic emergencies. The veteran staff sergeant (E-6) prides himself on his keen attention to detail and preparedness for any contingency.
After contacting several organizations without result, a fellow guardsman suggested he contact the VFW. Although skeptical, Besse called Eric Segundo, State Commander of the VFW in Massachusetts.
“Everyone I called, my situation didn’t meet their guidelines,” said Besse. “Then I spoke to Eric Segundo at the VFW.”
Besse was only two days from eviction when he made the call.
“Right off the bat, he asked what the VFW can do to help and put me in touch with Bill LeBeau,” he said. Lebeau is the State Adjutant and Chief Operating Officer at the VFW.
In those two days, Besse said the VFW found him a place to live and gave him peace of mind for the first time in months.
“Relax, focus on your job and family, we are going to help,” said LeBeau to Besse early in the process.
The caring attitude and instant connection found at the VFW made him feel comfortable opening up about his challenges, Besse said.
“Relief doesn’t cover it. It was like holding your breath underwater and then finally getting your head above water,” Besse said.
Besse, who works as an MIS Technical Support Specialist with CVS, learned a lot about the VFW during the crisis.
“It is not just a place to go for a cheap beer, the VFW is an organization that invests their time and resources into seeing veterans survive and thrive,” said Besse.
He advises veterans to look to the VFW in good times and bad. Any veterans, regardless of service, stateside or overseas, members or not, can seek assistance from the VFW.
“I’ve been to a lot of VFW posts and never realized they had the resources and programs that they do,” said Besse. “Knowing about the VFW makes me feel like I can work hard but if there is something I can’t do on my own, I know the VFW will always be there,” he said.
“I don’t think I have ever been so grateful,” he added.
Segundo was glad the VFW could help a Massachusetts veteran during a difficult period.
“We strive to always do what we can to help our veterans and live up to our motto, No one does more for veterans,” said Segundo.
Besse, his family saved from homelessness, says he wants all veterans in need to be aware of the services the VFW provides. To learn more or get involved, please visit www.vfwma.com.
VFW Helps Veteran Family in time of Need during Deployment
Video by Allyson Morin, Article by Matt Benedetti
The temperature seemed to precipitously drop with the fading sun one late afternoon in Carver, Mass. The noticeable chill in the air was likely a harbinger of a long winter prompting Jim Delprete to zip his coat.
Mr. Delprete, the president of Beantown Home Improvement, had just finished giving an estimate on the Flaherty residence. Pots and pans positioned across the kitchen floor made it clear the roof required extensive repair and replacement.
“A few of the family’s funding requests fell through but the roof couldn’t wait, so we decided to fix it right away,” said Delprete. What remained unclear was how Delprete would be compensated for the comprehensive project. Standard practice on each project expects payment at the beginning, middle and conclusion of the work. Regarding this current job, that policy would be challenged.
One of the homeowners was a deployed soldier and his wife had indicated that immediate payment was not possible. Delprete weighed his options.
A staunch supporter of military members, Beantown offers a 20 discount for veterans, Delprete elected to make the necessary repairs and seek reimbursement later.
Somerville Military Affairs and Veterans Services Commissioner Bryan P. Bishop and Lisa Gould, President of the Post 529 Auxiliary Unit. The new post building was made possible by the collaborative efforts of members of the post, City of Somerville officials and the developer of the property, The Dakota Partners, LLC., and is expected to be completed before Veterans Day in 2018.
VFW Post 529, named after PVT 1st Class George Dilboy, who was killed in action on July 18, 1918 at Belleau France during WWI, was chartered on October 13, 1920. Over the course of its long history it has been the home to veterans of all eras. In addition to taking part in Somerville’s Veterans Day and Memorial Day events, the post is involved with giving out scholarships, helping local veterans when needed, and in hosting a multitude of social events throughout the year. Over three dozen current members of the post came out on this nice November day to witness the historic event along with onlookers and members of the construction crew.
Massachusetts VFW State Commander Eric Segundo said, "This historic groundbreaking is proof that the Veterans of Foreign Wars is committed to being here for our veterans and their communities for many generations to come. This new building will ensure the history and the lineage of this post will remain and serve as a reminder of the sacrifices of all the veterans who have come before us." Post Commander Bob Hardy, a Vietnam Veteran, said, "This new building is for our newest veterans and those who will follow them. World War II and Korean War veterans handed it to us Vietnam veterans and now we want to hand it off to the veterans of the War on Terror. Our goal is to have the post used by the members, by the community and by the veterans who live nearby for years to come." According to Commander Hardy, the idea for the building was first talked about in 2008. After nine years he said he was relieved to see it finally happening. He thanked the City of Somerville and the developing partners for helping to make this project a reality for the post.
Chelsea, MA- The Department of Massachusetts Veterans of Foreign Wars presented a check to The Soldiers' Home in Chelsea on December 28th on behalf of Malden VFW Post 639. The donation in the amount of $15,000 will go to the Quigley Hospital Recreation Fund which support a wide variety of recreational activities that meet the physical, social, and emotional needs of the veterans who call Chelsea home. These activities revolve around physical group exercise, arts and crafts, bingo, current events, group outings, and many other social functions, including celebrations for all holidays. Present for the presentation was Past State Commander and Chairmen of the Soldiers Home Board of Trustee, Raymond C. O’Brien, State Commander Eric Segundo, State Jr. Vice Jeff Najarjan, State Surgeon Christine Tron, and Chief of Staff PSC George Murray.
“ I was happy to help and understood the situation,” Delprete said.
The pots and pans were gone from the kitchen but Rebekah Flaherty was faced with another set of problems. A deployed husband, a crying toddler and now a substantial bill that could not yet be paid.
Requests for assistance had been fruitless until she reached the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in Massachusetts.
“As soon as we contacted the VFW, we got immediate help,” said Flaherty. “It was such a quick response and we can’t thank the VFW enough,” she said.
“When a loved one is deployed he or she is not in a position to address problems back home,” said Bill LeBeau, State Adjutant and Chief Operating Officer for the VFW in Massachusetts.
Funding for the roof was allocated by the VFW Unmet Needs fund and a partnership with Yuengling Beer through the Lagers for Heroes Program.
“100 percent of the donations raised go directly to support veteran’s assistance programs like this one,” said Jim Lowe, Yuengling District Manager for Massachusetts.
“We have all served overseas and understand the challenges”, said LeBeau, a Gulf War veteran. “We are here to ease the burden for the veteran and their families,” he added. Lagers for Heroes Program is proud to work with the VFW to assist more veteran families in the future, according to Lowe. “The VFW is an excellent organization and we are proud to partner with them in assisting veterans,” said Lowe.
LeBeau said the VFW is evolving to better support today’s veterans.
“We are active in the community and every VFW Post can provide the knowledge and resources to help,” he said. “No one does more for veterans than the VFW,” said LeBeau. To learn more, or get involved, please visit http://www.vfwma.org
Proudly produced by Executive Recognition Services in conjunction with the Massachusetts VFW.
Massachusetts VFW celebrates groundbreaking for new post building. Somerville, MA–Members of the George Dilboy VFW Post in Somerville celebrated the groundbreaking for their new home on Summer street today. Many dignitaries were on hand for the event including Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Massachusetts State Commander Eric Segundo, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Tom Kelly, Post 529 Commander Bob Hardy,
BOSTON VFW SERVICE OFFICE STANDS WITH VETERANS
24 Beacon Street Room 546-1 State House
Boston, MA 02133
Welcome to the Veterans of Foreign Wars
Department of Massachusetts
"No one does more for Veterans"