THE MASSACHUSETTS NATIONAL GUARD RECOGNIZES FORMER LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MURRAY AND STAFF FOR PUBLIC SERVICE
Military officials praise Murray, staff and Patrick Administration for leadership to strengthen Massachusetts’ work in military initiatives and veterans’ services
Major General L. Scott Rice, former Lieutenant Governor Murray, and staff members Adam Freudberg, Robyn Kennedy, Marissa Pillai and Katie Joyce. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class James C. Lally, Massachusetts National Guard Public Affairs/Released)
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE – Tuesday, June 25, 2013 – The Massachusetts National Guard today presented former Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray and his State House staff with awards for public service in recognition of the Patrick Administration’s work to support military bases, members of the armed forces, veterans and their families during his time in office.
Major General L. Scott Rice, the Adjutant General of Massachusetts, presented former Lieutenant Governor Murray with the Outstanding Civilian Service Award, one of the top civilian honors bestowed by the military. Murray was nominated for this award based on his outstanding service that has made a substantial and significant contribution to the military.
“Lieutenant Governor Murray's dedication to our military is exemplary,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “He and his staff are deserving of these honors from the National Guard, and the gratitude of us all."
“Lieutenant Governor Murray’s dedication and tireless work toward improving military installations to benefit service members and their families has been outstanding,” said Major General Rice. “Lieutenant Governor Murray has aggressively worked to ensure every veteran in the Commonwealth receives the support and recognition their honorable service deserves, making the Commonwealth the best in the nation for veterans benefits. Additionally, Lieutenant Governor Murray's visionary leadership and tenacity has placed the Massachusetts military community firmly into the heart of the state’s innovative growth and expanding high-tech business development, ensuring an active and vibrant future for the Commonwealth.”
During his time as Lieutenant Governor, Murray chaired both the Governor’s Advisory Council on Veterans’ Services and the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force. As part of the Patrick Administration’s commitment to promoting and enhancing the state’s six military bases, the Governor supported the creation of the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force to assess the military assets, infrastructure and growth opportunities for each base. The six military bases include: Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee; Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield; Natick Soldier Systems Center; Fort Devens; Hanscom Air Force Base; and the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR) on Cape Cod. These installations account for a total economic impact of $14.2 billion dollars and over 46,500 jobs for the Massachusetts economy.
Following the Lieutenant Governor’s departure, Governor Patrick, his staff and state agencies are closely collaborating to continue the important work of the Veterans’ Council and the Military Task Force on behalf of Massachusetts’ citizens. Massachusetts has long been recognized as the top state in services provided to veterans and military family members and has six military bases with their own unique missions. Under the leadership of Governor Patrick, the Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS), the National Guard, MassDevelopment and other state partners, we will continue to expand services and support and enhance all of our bases.
In the months ahead the Patrick Administration will work to coordinate across state agencies to ensure the needs of veterans and military families are given the attention they deserve, while increasing awareness among the Legislature and the public of the challenges facing veterans, service members and their families to ensure programming and funding remains at current or expanded levels. The Administration will also work to expand employment initiatives to all regions of the state through regional chambers of commerce, workforce investment boards and business associations, and will continue to build upon the VALOR Act, as well as the Department of Higher Education and DVS’s report to “Promote Veterans’ Access to and Success in Higher Education,” by releasing guidelines to streamline the acceptance of military experience for college credit at all state colleges and universities so skills developed in the military can more easily transition to the workforce.
“Massachusetts is a national leader in providing services to our veterans, and I am proud to have been part of the team who is taking the lead nationally in positioning our military bases for future growth,” said former Lieutenant Governor Murray and current President and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce. “In my new role at the chamber, I plan to make sure that we educate our members about the many benefits of hiring veterans. These men and women, who served our country, are valuable assets in the workplace. Tax credits and other incentives available to employers who hire veterans makes it even easier to staff their businesses and watch their bottom line. Together with Governor Patrick, we have built a strong legacy for our military and veterans, an effort my staff and I worked tirelessly on in support of our brave men, women and their families who have sacrificed for our country. With or without economic challenges ahead, it is only prudent for the Commonwealth to maintain a Military Task Force that brings together state leadership and industry partners to proactively plan and address the needs of our military members, missions and bases. These two efforts have been accomplished through a team approach, and I’m confident with Governor Patrick at the helm that the work will continue. I thank Major General Rice and the Massachusetts National Guard for recognizing the work done by my former staff and I for our efforts on behalf of the citizens of Massachusetts.”
In 2007, Governor Patrick created the Governor’s Advisory Council on Veterans’ Services and appointed Murray as chair. Together with the Patrick Administration, the Council worked to ensure newly returning veterans, as well as Massachusetts’ military families and the state’s aging veteran population, continue to receive quality health care, education benefits and easy access to housing and employment services.
In addition to Murray, also receiving awards for their support of Patrick Administration military and veterans’ services initiatives were Katie Joyce, Robyn Kennedy, Adam Freudberg, Lauren Jones, Marissa Pillai and Daniel Sweatland. As Murray’s former lead staffer on these issues, Adam Freudberg received the Commander's Award for Public Service for his work coordinating the efforts of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Veterans’ Services since 2007 and the Military Task Force since 2012. This award recognizes “service or achievements that contribute significantly to the accomplishment of the mission of an Army activity, command or staff agency.” The remaining staff members received Certificates of Appreciation for Patriotic Civilian Service. This certificate is given to recognize “patriotic civilian service that contributes to the mission of an Army activity, command or staff agency or to the welfare of Army personnel.”
To learn more about the Patrick Administration’s work on veterans’ services and our military bases, please view the attached documents or visit www.mass.gov/veterans or http://www.mass.gov/governor/administration/councilscabinetsandcommissions/military/massachusetts-military-bases.html.
Statements of Support:
“As Lieutenant Governor, Tim Murray’s leadership played a critical role in strengthening Massachusetts’ important national security work,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. “The efforts of Tim and his staff to support the Commonwealth’s military initiatives and veterans’ services have made a real difference for our military bases, armed servicemen and women and their families. I congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition.”
“Lieutenant Governor Murray’s commitment to the military community across our Commonwealth is an excellent example of his steadfast public service,” said Senator William “Mo” Cowan. “His work in the State House, chairing both the Governor’s Advisory Council on Veterans’ Services and the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force, led to the enhanced development of the state’s military bases and enriched services for our veterans and their families. He is a tireless advocate for our military families and he and his staff are well-deserved recipients of these prestigious awards.”
“Lieutenant Governor Murray made the preservation and growth of the Commonwealth’s military installations one of his key priorities,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. “These installations, and the innovative defense technology companies linked to them, employ hundreds of thousands of talented individuals, power our state’s economy and are developing the advanced technology required to protect our nation. As a result of his leadership, we are better informed and better organized as we work to strengthen these installations and promote the synergies unique to Massachusetts that give them such an advantage. I appreciate and commend his initiative to create the Task Force that will continue this important work and will certainly miss his partnership.”
"Massachusetts is a national leader in serving our veterans and military families due to the leadership and forward-leaning agenda of Lieutenant Governor Murray," said Secretary of Veterans’ Services Coleman Nee. "As Governor Patrick's lead on veteran and military issues, Lieutenant Governor Murray and his staff were critical to eliminating silos in state government to enhance collaboration and service delivery. Having that support from the top was essential as we worked across agencies to improve the wellbeing of veterans, service members and their families.”