In the News

Veteran Services Coordinator Jumps with 22Kill Boston to Raise Money for Veteran Suicide Prevention

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6 weeks ago, Adam CostelloEaster Seals Massachusetts Veterans Services Program Coordinator (link below), ate 38 habaneros to raise money for veterans services! Now he’s jumping out of a plane with 22KillBoston to raise money to honor New England Veterans who served and raise awareness about the growing issue of Veteran suicide.

The latest statistics show that 20.6 Veterans end their lives every day. In a small state like Massachusetts, which also has a relatively small Veteran population and a wealth of services available, we’re losing more than one Veteran per week to suicide.

“Since coming home, I have lost numerous Soldiers that I had previously deployed with to suicide. The statistics are real. Being social through physical activities, whether it be daily workouts, running an occasional obstacle course, or jumping out of a plane, is just one way to stay both mentally and physically fit while also rekindling some of that camaraderie that we all miss. It creates and maintains a positive network of peers, many of whom have faced or will face similar struggles. Nobody has to endure the fight alone. We’ll always be part of a much larger team. The most difficult part is often just showing up. ” -Adam Costello

Easter Seals Veterans Program Coordinator speaks at Eagle Scout Flag Ceremony

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By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury Boy Scout Jack Nguyen, member of Troop 114, is in the process of earning his Eagle Scout Award. As part of his award requirements, he chose to do a project to respectfully retire flags that he collected in town and from surrounding areas.

Last summer, he started gathering flags by setting up collection bins around town. He also offered to retire flags collected from the cemetery over the years, held in storage by the Shrewsbury Department of Parks, Recreation and Cemetery.

“The U.S. Flag Code states that when a flag has become worn out to point of where it is no longer suitable to represent our country, it must be retired in a solemn and respectful manner,” he explained.

In accordance with that code, burning flags is the preferred and most dignified method of flag disposal.

On June 2 at American Legion V.F. Picard Post #234 in Northborough, Nguyen held a Flag Retirement Ceremony to honorably dispose of the collected worn, weathered and torn flags. He was supported in his effort by several of his fellow Boy Scouts and their Scoutmaster Rick Spurr.

“I think this is great and it’s a very respectful way to address torn flags,” Spurr said. “I think a lot of people… have flags that they fly in front of their houses, and when they get torn and tattered don’t know what to do with them.”

The program included remarks by Gerard Bourque, member of the V.F. Picard Post, Adam Costello, veterans’ program coordinator for Easter Seals Massachusetts, and Shrewsbury Parks Director Angela Snell. The Star Spangled Banner was performed by Angie Rezuke, a member of the a cappella choir at Shrewsbury High School.

Veterans Program Coordinator of Easter Seals MA attends 5th Annual Penta Flag Raising Ceremony

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Pictured above is Easter Seals Massachusetts Veterans Program Coordinator, Adam Costello, at the annual Penta Flag Raising Ceremony. Adam is featured with Francisco Urena, MA Secretary of Veterans Services, American Legion Post 234, Justin Sousa, Director of the Central Massachusetts Veterans Services District, and Denny Drewry, Assistant National Service Officer for the MA VFW.

“I’m humbled by the fact that private businesses across the Commonwealth, on their own initiative, take time to plan and organize events recognizing our service members and veterans. When we come back from the war, the majority of us return to being anonymous members of our society. Events like these remind us that our service has not gone unnoticed. It reminds us that our sacrifices have not been forgotten.” -Adam Costello, Veterans Program Coordinator

By Sandy Meindersma
Wicked Local Staff

WESTBOROUGH — Honoring the flag and thanking veterans is something Deborah Penta has always done.

“I’m proud to be an American, and when I was young, I received an Americanism Award for my evangelism about the right to vote,” Penta, CEO of Penta Communications, Inc., said.

Thursday’s annual flag raising ceremony came about after Penta bought her Turnpike Road building and began renovations.

“There was a ripped flag that hung in front of the building and one of the first things we did was take it down,” she said. “We waited until the exterior renovations were complete and we thought it was more appropriate to invite the veterans to come to raise the flag for the first time.

“This building has been a labor of love, and everything has to have meaning,” she said.

For the last five years, Penta has been inviting veterans, military families and governmental officials to celebrate the flag raising, and to place a flag on the lawn in honor or memory of someone who served or their family.

Francisco Urena, secretary of Veterans’ Services, thanked the veterans and their families for their sacrifice and urged attendees to remember those who are still serving.

“Those men and women could pay the ultimate price,” he said.

State Rep. Carolyn Dykema commended Penta and the town of Westborough.

“Westborough is a town that honors its veterans every day,” she said.

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