- How did you get into this field?
- I got into this field via personal invitation from President Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1967 - I was drafted. My military career spanned a 19-month period - 13 months in the Republic of South Vietnam. I returned to my home town of Chelsea and renewed my civilian life. In 1985, I was appointed to serve as the Veterans Service Officer for the City of Chelsea.
Governor Paul Cellucci appointed me to serve in the position of Commandant of the Chelsea Soldiers' Home in 1999. As you can see, I have spent a large portion of my adult life working for veterans and veteran causes.
Who would you consider to be your mentor and why?
- My dad, Frank Resca, Sr. was and is the most influential person in my life. He is my father, my mentor, my friend and a man I greatly admire. Growing up in Chelsea, my father always worked two or three jobs to keep the family and household going but always had time for my mother, sister, two brothers and myself. Dad taught me the importance and joy of helping others and instilled good work ethics to all our family.
Frank, Sr. is also a World War II veteran who served in the US Army. Anyone who read Tom Brokaw's best selling book, The Greatest Generation, will understand why my dad, and so many like him, were my heroes while growing up.
What quote do you live by?
- At the Chelsea Soldiers' Home, our motto and mission statement is "Veterans First" and these words drive most of my actions and decisions. Early in my career working with veterans, the following quote offered both inspiration and motivation to me:
The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation.
- George Washington
What has been the most memorable moment of your career?
- As the City of Chelsea's Veterans Service Officer, I recall the first time I was able to help an elderly widow of a disabled veteran receive benefits due to her. I was touched by how much this small monthly allowance allowed her to improve her quality of life and allow her to more fully enjoy her golden years. I recall how thankful she was and how I was able to make a difference in her life.
Today, I still get that same feeling of immense satisfaction whether it is providing housing for a veteran who is homeless, or helping an aging veteran access our long term care facility, or making sure a veteran is aware of the benefits and rights afforded to them by the Commonwealth and the Veterans Administration.
Can you share an interesting fact about yourself that your colleagues wouldn't necessarily know?
- Prior to my military service, I attended the University of New Hampshire, where I played football and held the school record for the longest touchdown (103 yards) ever recorded. The record was recently broken by Jerry Azumah who went on to play for the Chicago Bears.
Is there anything you'd like people to know about your agency?
- The Chelsea Soldiers' Home has been serving the veterans of this Commonwealth since 1882. We continue to offer a vast array of services for qualified Massachusetts veterans. I would like every veteran to know that we are here to help if you need our services. If we cannot help, we will do everything in our power to find help available to you.