By Chris Maza|
LONGMEADOW – If all goes well, the town will have its vacant veterans’ services agent position filled by the next fiscal year on July 1.
Town Manager Stephen Crane told Reminder Publications the plan is to select a candidate prior to the start of fiscal year 2015 [FY15] from a short list that was recently gathered in response to an advertisement posted recently for the 30-hour a week position.
“We are having interviews this week and hope to be able to select someone soon,” he told Reminder Publications on June 16. “We received somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 applications.”
Crane told the Select Board at a previous meeting that all veterans’ issues that needed to be addressed before the end of FY14 had been resolved.
The town has been without a veterans’ services agent for approximately a month and a half since Anthony Lawrence left the town to pursue a full-time position with the Springfield Fire Department. Lawrence officially graduated from the fire academy at a ceremony that took place June 13.
Crane said those who have questions regarding veterans’ benefits should contact Longmeadow Adult Center Executive Director Emily Perkins. Town Accountant Sandy Choquette is processing benefits in the interim, Crane added.
More information and resources can be found on the veterans’ services page on the town’s website, www.longmeadow.org/coa/veterans-services.
Lawrence took the position in April 2013 after serving for two years as a caseworker for the Springfield Department of Veterans' Services. He replaced Jason Dieni, who filled the position from October 2011 to July 2012 and left to take a position at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island.
In a little more than a year as the veterans’ services officer, Lawrence nearly tripled the number of veterans receiving benefits. He also organized the first Wounded Warrior 5k and the Wounded Warrior Fit Club.
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