Our Military Family and Friends Bereavement Support Group welcomes any military family member or friend who is coping with the death of a loved one who died as a result of service in the military. Included are service members who died in combat, or because of combat-related exposure or injury; service members who took their own lives due to post traumatic stress, or traumatic brain injury, or as a result of transition stress; or service members who died in training accidents or from friendly fire.
Vets Helping Vets Group meets the fourth Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. at Holyoke Community College extension, 79 Main St., near Hannah Devine’s. New volunteers are always welcome to join us. We organize events and services to help local active-duty military and veterans, including National Guard, Reserves and all our Armed Forces.
Learn about moral injury and how to heal from it, as well as how to build a more resilient community at this workshop, designed for veterans, active duty military, advocates, clergy, emergency responders, service providers, teachers and family members of any of the above.
Open auditions for "Welcome Home," an original play, will be held Saturday, Aug. 4, noon-4 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 5, noon to 2 p.m., at Workshop 13, 13 Church St., Ware, MA. We are casting three male characters, ages 24-60. (The female character has already been cast.) Performances are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 11, 2 p.m.
Organizer Roy Dennington says, “The pins recognize that it was a war,” he says. “A horrendous war, but by calling it a war — and by giving it a name — we can, to some extent, look at it like we look at an event, something that was then, something that is now in the past. An event that has ended.”
Almost Home: A workshop for those who support veterans returning from deployment
Returning war veterans and vet\responders in our era have dedicated years of patriotic service to the nation and community — having gone repeatedly in harm's way with only modest compensation. Too many do not return or return changed in ways that they hadn't planned for.
Help us honor and welcome home Viet Nam veterans on the 50th anniversary of the war.
Care for the Troops is a partner of the yearlong commemoration and has worked extensively with Viet Nam veterans and veterans and active-duty military of all wars. See some of their stories here.
We will be honoring these brave veterans with dinner, talk and more. Space is limited and we will be accepting reservations on a first-come, first-serve basis for Ware and Palmer area Vietnam veterans.
For more information or to RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Nov. 2 workshop for pastors and laity will help you Welcome Home Viet Nam veterans as well as teach you other ways to minister to veterans of all eras.
Most Viet Nam veterans have never been welcomed home by a community or congregation. In fact, many have painful stories of their reception when they returned from combat. Now fifty years after the war, congregations and communities are encouraged to find ways to honor the service and sacrifice of Viet Nam veterans in a public event to be held between Memorial Day 2012 and Veterans Day 2025. At this workshop you will:
- Learn ways to formally welcome Viet Nam veterans home and publicly acknowledge their service and sacrifice.
- Hear from Viet Nam veterans and better understand "unhealed wounds" both for veterans and for the community as a whole.
- Discover ways to reach out to veterans of all eras, especially veterans and active duty military from Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Find out what congregations around the state are doing to reach out to local veterans in order to stem the tide of homelessness, family violence and suicide.
The workshop will be held at the Congregational Church of Christ, 583 Main St., Leominster MA, on Wednesday, Nov. 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost is $25 per person, which includes lunch.
This workshop is sponsored by the Brookfield Institute, the Massachusetts National Guard Chaplaincy and MA National Guard Family Program.
Register for the Nov. 2 workshop here.
As part of the "We Remember ..." display on the Athol Uptown Common, there will be a special honor guard and ecumenical service of remembrance Sunday, May 29, at 11:15 a.m.
Vets Help Vets will be serving a free breakfast for veterans Saturday, May 28, 9 to 11 a.m., at the Ware Senior Center.
Pancakes, sausage, eggs and muffins are on the menu for the breakfast for veterans and their families. Local veterans of all conflicts including non-combatants and current active duty military are invited, as are their wives, husbands, mothers, fathers and children.
The Ware Senior Center is at 1 Robbins Road, Ware, MA.
Volunteers are needed to cook, serve and clean up. Anyone who wants to support veterans is encouraged to help. To sign up as a volunteer, please call 413-563-7282 or email us and provide your contact information.
The recently organized Vets Help Vets is a group of local veterans and others interested in addressing the local, unmet needs of vets. Training, education and supportive services are some of the group’s goals. The group also encourages narratives of individual veteran’s experiences so that the community better understands these experiences. “Vets Help Vets” is sponsored by the Brookfield Institute’s Care For The Troops Program
The North Quabbin Veterans Outreach will hold the first “We Remember…” public display during the month May on the Uptown Common in Athol, MA.
The display will honor those service members who have died. Individuals and organizations may make a donation to remember and honor those who have served. The funds collected will support events for Veterans of the Athol community throughout the year. Mail donations to: Athol Congregational Church, UCC 1225 Chestnut St. Athol, MA 01331.
The veterans' names will be listed in the Athol Daily News each week during the month. On Sunday, May 29, there will be a special honor guard and ecumenical service of remembrance at 11:15 a.m., near the “We Remember…” display led by Pastor Beverly Prestwood-Taylor, of the Athol Congregational Church. Following the service, there will be light refreshments at the Church, 1225 Chestnut St.
WHEN: Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 9:00 AM - Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 5:00 PM (EDT) - Add to Calendar
WHERE: Athol Congregation Church - 1225 Chestnut Street Athol, MA 01331 - View Map
HOSTED BY: Athol Congregational Church, UCC and the Brookfield Institute
REGISTRATION: Free for veterans; $27.37 general admission. Tickets available here.
Does your faith community or other organization want to better understand the experience of veterans and their families?
Do you see our veterans’ journey home from war as a shared responsibility and an opportunity to walk alongside them in their return?
This workshop — FREE for veterans — will build on the basic concepts of STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) and apply it to the experience of military families, including:
- The effects of trauma on the body, mind, and spirit;
- Common responses to unhealed trauma;
- Recognizing the symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury;
- New skills and strategies to chart a healing journey
In addition, participants will learn about the process of coming home:
- Stages veterans move through as they prepare for deployment and as they return;
- Battlement: Unlearning some aspects of basic training in order to re-acclimate to life with their families;
- The spiritual impact of war;
- Creating a specific plan to support veterans and military families;
- How to start working with veterans to record their stories or invite them to write their stories of combat and re-integration.
Veterans attend free but must register; general admission tickets are $27.37. Register here.
Veterans of all ages are encouraged to consider helping other service members by participating in a Steering Committee for “new” veteran services in the greater Ware area. Veterans, along with their friends or family members, civic or church leaders or others interested in veterans’ issues are invited to participate in this Steering Committee. This Committee will look at ways to reach out to local military families, understand their needs and arrange for relevant assistance.
Pizza will be served at an informational [initial] meeting to be held on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at 6 PM at The Living Room – next door to the Trinity Episcopal Church, Park Ave., Ware, MA. (Snow date will be the following Tuesday, January 12, 2016). Care For the Troops (www.careforthetroops-ma.org) is the sponsoring organization. This is a no-obligation gathering but folks are asked to RSVP in order to reserve their slices of pizza. RSVP’s can be done by email to: email@example.com or by calling Beverly at 413-563-7282. Please reserve your pizza by January 4, 2016.
To honor our armed forces' veterans and to show deep appreciation for their service, Metrowest veterans and their families are invited to a free pasta supper on Sunday, November 8th from 5-7 pm at The Plymouth Church, 87 Edgell Road in Framingham, MA. Featuring Rev. Paul Minor as keynote speaker. RSVP: 508-875-1364.
Sponsored by Finding the Calm in the Storm: a parnership of three congregations: Edwards Church, Grace Congregational, and The Plymouth Church in Framingham.
The North Quabbin Veterans' Outreach, an affiliate of the Athol Congregational Church, UCC, is sponsoring a thank you breakfast for all veterans and their families at the Church hall at 1225 Chestnut Street, Athol (uptown common). The menu will feature scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausage, muffins, fresh fruit, and Dean's Beans Coffee. The hall is handicapped accessible. RSVP by Thursday, October 29th: 978-249-6202.
Brookfield Institute will be at the Veterans Booth at Fall Fest 2015 in Ware MA
on Saturday, October 3, 2015. Stop by, say hello, and hear about our exciting new programs! Last year over 80 vendors participated and this year’s highlights include a pancake breakfast, art fair, contests, and blues concert!