Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Murray Hears Concerns from Pittsfield Veterans

Dec 6, 2012

Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray made three stops in Pittsfield today, including one at a Veterans home where he heard suggestions and concerns from vets. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

After making stops at Pittsfield High School and General Dynamics, a defense manufacturer, Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray toured facilities at Solider On – a non-profit organization that provides housing and services for homeless veterans.

Joined by state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Murray was shown around the Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Community, a permanent housing project occupied and maintained by veterans. CEO of Solider On Jack Downing led the tour…

After the tour the Lt. Governor met with veterans at Solider On, where he heard their concerns and suggests on an assortment of issues, but one of the dominating topics among the veterans was transportation.

Bob Reilly, a senior employee at Soldier On and a veteran himself spoke up during the round table with the Lt. Murray talked about the challenges veterans face when relying only on the Berkshires public transportation network.

And Jack Downing, later echoed some of the discussion during the meeting about the difficulty homeless veterans have obtaining driver’s licenses. He said that many recovering veterans often face fees and charges on their driving record, which they cannot pay, and cannot move forward on the path to recovery.

Downing also wanted to communicate to the officials that there is no shortage of demand for housing for veterans, especially with the troops recently returned from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lt. Gov. Murray said that he was glad to hear the concerns brought up by the veterans and said the purpose of his tour of Pittsfield was to make sure he’s educated and updated on issues facing the entire Commonwealth.

After his tour of Pittsfield High School, General Dynamics and Soldier On, Murray continued to Springfield to visit the Industry Fast Track Program, a state-funded initiative focused  on job training for advanced manufacturing.