For Immediate Release - June 18, 2010

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MURRAY ANNOUNCES 2nd ANNUAL TWO WEEK STATEWIDE TOUR ON MILITARY AND VETERANS ISSUES

As Chairman of the Governor's Advisory Council on Veterans' Services, Murray seeks to raise awareness of the needs of the more than 409,000 veterans living in the Commonwealth

Watch a two minute video recapping the 2009 Tour and Learn More about the 2010 Tour ( www.mass.gov/governor/vetstour)

BOSTON - Friday, June 18, 2010 - Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray today announced the details of the Patrick-Murray Administration's 2nd Annual MASS Veterans Tour: Massachusetts Awareness for Support and Services. Over the course of two weeks, Lt. Governor Murray will participate in various meetings, tours and events relative to military and veterans issues.

The tour will officially kick off on Saturday, June 19th with a series of events featuring U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs Assistant Secretary L. Tammy Duckworth, who will be visiting Massachusetts to promote veterans services in the Commonwealth. In the morning, Assistant Secretary Duckworth will provide the keynote address at the 2nd Annual Conference for Women Veterans at UMass-Medical School in Worcester. Sponsored by the Patrick-Murray Administration's Department of Veterans' Services, the conference will also feature Governor Deval L. Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray, Congressman James P. McGovern, and several state and local officials. Following this conference, Assistant Secretary Duckworth and Lieutenant Governor Murray will tour the WPI Center for Neuroprosthetics, and hold roundtable forums with veterans and their family members at Framingham State College and UMass-Boston.

With the tour ending on July 4th, Lieutenant Governor Murray will build off of the 2009 inaugural two-week tour, while continuing and expanding upon his work on behalf of the Patrick-Murray Administration as an advocate for veterans and their families.

"Massachusetts leads the nation in providing services and benefits to our veterans," said Governor Deval Patrick. "With Lt. Governor Murray's leadership, the second annual tour will be a great opportunity to increase awareness of available benefits and also thank our brave men and women for their service."

"As Chair of the Governor's Advisory Council on Veterans' Services, I have worked closely with the veteran community to promote and improve our administration's outreach and service delivery to veterans and their families," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "With over 400,000 veterans living in Massachusetts, I look forward to travelling across the state, and continuing our administration's work to support veterans and military families."

As the Chairman of Governor Patrick's Advisory Council on Veterans' Services, Lt. Governor Murray has led a group of veterans and veterans' advocates for the last three years as they have worked to promote and improve the Administration's outreach and service delivery to veterans and their families.

Massachusetts leads the nation in offering the most comprehensive benefits and services to veterans and their families. The 2nd annual tour is an opportunity to not only increase awareness of available state and federal benefits, but also express thanks to those who have served in the military and their families for their support, and acknowledge their commitment to defending the country.

"The second annual MASS Veterans Tour exemplifies the Patrick-Murray Administration's continued commitment to veterans in the Commonwealth," said Secretary of Veterans' Services Tom Kelley. "This will give us an opportunity to hear the views and concerns of veterans and their families so that we can strengthen our programs."

Staff from the Department of Veterans' Services and/or Lieutenant Governor Murray's Office will be available onsite at each event to answer questions about veterans' programs and benefits in the Commonwealth.

2nd Annual MASS Veterans' Tour Schedule

Visit the 2010 Veterans' Tour Website

June 19


2nd Annual Massachusetts Conference for Women Veterans
9:00 a.m.
UMass-Medical School, Main Building, Amphitheater, 2nd Floor, 55 Lake Avenue, Worcester
With Special Guest Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth

Tour of the WPI Center for Neuroprosthetics
11:00 a.m.
WPI Bioengineering Institute, 3rd Floor, Room GP3101, 60 Prescott Street, Worcester
With Special Guest Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth

Roundtable Discussion on Veterans Education and Services with Veterans and Family Members
1:00 p.m.
Framingham State College, D. Justin McCarthy College Center, Forum Room, 100 State Street, Framingham
With Special Guest Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth

Roundtable Discussion on Veterans Education and Services with Veterans and Family Members
3:30 p.m.
UMass-Boston, Quinn Administration Building, Chancellor's Conference Room, 3rd Floor, 100 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston
With Special Guest Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth

Vietnamese Veterans Day Ceremony
6:30 p.m.
Empire Garden, 690 Washington Street, Boston

June 21

Webster Square Veterans Memorial Swimming Pool Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening
10:00 a.m.
1260 Main Street, Worcester (Next to Bennett Field)

June 22

Employment Roundtable with Veterans at the North Shore Career Center of Salem
2:00 p.m.
70 Washington Street, Salem

Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness Meeting with Presentations on Workforce Investments, Homelessness Services, and Integration Programs for Veterans
3:15 p.m.
Salem State College, Bertolon School of Business, Room 112, 352 Lafayette Street, Salem

June 23

Military Friends Foundation's Announces New "Massachusetts Cares! Grant" For Deployed National Guard and Reserve
12:30 p.m.
State House, Room 157, 24 Beacon Street, Boston

June 25

Hanscom Heroes Celebration
2:30 p.m.
Hanscom Air Force Base, Memorial Park, 81 Grenier Street, Hanscom

June 29

Visit and Tour of Soldier On's Shelter and Transitional Facility
8:15 a.m.
Soldier On, Northampton VA, 421 North Main Street, Leeds

Quarterly Meeting of Governor's Advisory Council on Veterans' Services and Roundtable on Veterans Education and Services with Veterans and Family Members
9:15 - 10:30 a.m.
Northampton VA, Building One, The Learning Center, 421 North Main Street, Leeds

Employment Roundtable with Veterans at the Franklin/Hampshire Career Center of Northampton
11:00 a.m.
Franklin/Hampshire Career Center, 178 Industrial Drive, Suite 1, Northampton

July 1

Meeting with Chief Naval Officers, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and Business Leaders during Navy Week Boston
(CLOSED PRESS)
3:00 p.m.
UMass-Boston, Venture Development Center, Wheatley Hall, 3rd Floor, 100 Morrissey Blvd., Boston

GI Bill Benefits Briefing with the Department of Higher Education and the Department of Veterans' Services
6:00 - 6:30 p.m.
LeLacheur Park, 450 Aiken Street, Lowell

Military Appreciation Night at the Lowell Spinners Game
Field Ceremony: 6:40 - 7:00 p.m.
Game: 7:00 - 10:00 p.m.
LeLacheur Park, 450 Aiken Street, Lowell

July 4

Tour Wrap Up - Visit on Independence Day
To Be Scheduled

About Massachusetts Veterans' Services

The Commonwealth is a nationwide leader in the services provided for veterans and is continuing its commitment to advancing their opportunities. Last year, Governor Patrick signed into law on Veterans' Day legislation that will expand on the services presently offered to the Commonwealth's veterans and their families, including increasing the cash bonus available to service members who serve multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The law also calls for an establishment of a "Medal of Liberty" that will be awarded to the next of kin of any Massachusetts service member killed in action or who dies as a result of wounds received while in action.

The work of the Governor's Advisory Council on Veterans' Services and its partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services, other state agencies, and veterans' organizations has led to many services and benefits for veterans. Most recently, through the Department of Veterans' Services, Massachusetts was recently awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Veterans' Workforce Investment Program and Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program six different veterans' workforce grants totaling $2,047,342, which has been allocated to outreach centers to begin training and job placement. Massachusetts has also received three grants, totaling approximately $1 million, for Homeless reintegration and Workforce Investment.

For more information about the Department of Veterans' Services, including affordable, no-down payment mortgage financing for veterans run by MassHousing, Chapter 115 Benefits, and a 24 hour suicide prevention and benefit referral hotline run by the Department of Veterans' Services, visit www.mass.gov/veterans .

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