For Immediate Release - February 02, 2010


HOLYOKE - Tuesday, February 2, 2010 - Governor Deval Patrick announced today the appointment of three accomplished advocates for veterans to positions on the Board of Trustees of the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke. Bernard L. Jones of Colrain, Margaret Oglesby of East Longmeadow and Steven Como of Pittsfield will serve seven-year terms on the Board, overseeing the work of the Soldiers' Home, which provides long-term care and residential services to honorably discharged wartime veterans.

"These three individuals have demonstrated exceptional commitment to Massachusetts' veterans," said Governor Patrick. "Their insights and leadership will ensure that those who have served our country with honor and distinction will continue to get the services and supports they need to make meaningful contributions to the Western Massachusetts community."

Bernard L. Jones of Colrain will represent Franklin County. Mr. Jones served in the United States Army in Vietnam from 1969 until 1972 and was a member of the United States Army Reserves from 1973 to 1983. From 1989 until 1998, Mr. Jones provided support and assistance to veterans through his work at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. He is a service connected veteran who currently serves as a volunteer at the VA Medical Center in Northampton.

Margaret Oglesby of East Longmeadow, representing Hampden County, has served in the National Guard for 28 years. Immediately following the September 11 attacks, Major Oglesby protected the nation's airports for nine months and deployed to Afghanistan in 2003 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, where she was responsible for security and base defense of the Kabul Military Training Center. As a result of her exceptional leadership, performance and dedication, Major Oglesby was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor. Currently, Major Oglesby is the Assistant Chief Probation Officer in the Springfield District Court.

Steven E. Como of Pittsfield will serve as Chair of the Board and represent Berkshire County. Mr. Como currently serves as Executive Vice President and Director of Government Relations of the United Veterans of America, which provides transitional living beds for homeless veterans in Leeds and Pittsfield. Previously, Mr. Como worked at the Berkshire County Sheriff's Office for 24 years, retiring as Major in 2002. He has also served on the Western Massachusetts Interagency Council on Homelessness and the Executive Council for the Veteran Administration in Northampton.

"As these accomplished appointees assume their new responsibilities, I want to sincerely thank outgoing members of the Board James McClure of Berkshire County and Former State Representative Francis E. Rogers of Hampden County for their service and dedication to veterans in Western Massachusetts," said Governor Patrick.

In addition to the three latest appointments, last summer Governor Patrick appointed two other accomplished veterans to the Board of the Holyoke Soldiers' Home. James Tierney of Holyoke was appointed to represent Hampden County and currently serves in the National Guard. He was deployed to Iraq in 2003 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Also appointed last summer was John Fitzgerald of Longmeadow as a representative of Hampden County. Mr. Fitzgerald, who served in Vietnam, is a member of Disabled Veterans of America and has been honored with the Bronze Star for Valor and the Purple Heart.

About the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke

Established in 1952, The Soldiers' Home in Holyoke is a multifaceted health care facility available to eligible veterans of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its mission is to provide the best health care possible to eligible veterans who reside in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. More information about the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke is available at:


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