Monthly Archives

July 2017

Archive | July, 2017

Serving Those Who Serve: Easterseals care coordinators here to help veterans, families

By | In the News

New Hampshire’s service members and veterans have all pledged to put their life on the line for our nation.

Military life involves many sacrifices that can create immediate and long-term challenges for veterans and their families. Easter Seals Military & Veterans Care coordinators stand ready when a service member, veteran or military family encounters problems with relationships, mental and physical health, substance abuse, employment, housing, finances, navigating the VA and community support service systems, or any other issue.

Easter Seals New Hampshire offers care coordination to veterans of all eras –
from World War II veterans to those who are currently serving. Services are free, confidential and provided locally – in the veteran’s home or other convenient location.

Care coordinators are master’s-level community caseworkers with extensive training in military culture. Their job is to do whatever it takes to help service members, veterans and their families thrive. Care coordinators help those in crisis situations, and are also available to help families plan ahead and avoid problems when facing life changes and challenges.

Easter Seals care coordinators can specifically help with:

  • Counseling and emotional support
  • Employment
  • Housing and homelessness
  • Domestic violence
  • Child care resources
  • Respite care
  • Transportation
  • Disability services resources
  • Legal issues
  • Mental health
  • Substance abuse
  • Budgeting and financial management
  • Emergency financial assistance through Veterans Count
  • Navigating and accessing the system (civilian and VA) and cutting the red tape

This program has been highly effective, achieving positive outcomes in areas such as suicide prevention, connecting veterans to much needed health care and counseling, preventing homelessness and securing meaningful employment. By meeting with veterans and families where they live, providing confidential and nonjudgmental care, addressing emergencies in the context of planning for self-sufficiency and doing whatever it takes, the Easter Seals care coordinators have made a real difference for more than 9,000 service members, veterans and their families.


Veterans Count Seacoast S.O.S Gala Raises $436,000

By | In the News

The Seacoast Chapter of Veterans Count got a boost in efforts to help soldiers at its recent gala fundraiser. The fifth annual S.O.S. “Salute Our Soldiers” dinner last month at the home Michael and Jamee Kane of North Hampton raised $436,000 for Veterans Count. The evening’s included dinner, dancing, the honoring of all veterans in the audience, and a fireworks display over the ocean.

Veterans Count is a program of Easterseals that provides financial support for service members and veterans of all eras.

This year’s gala was a special tribute to Vietnam-era veterans, whom were given special recognition during a pinning ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of that conflict. Master of Ceremonies Josh McElveen led the event with a special keynote speech by Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Kenneth Clark, a former member of the N.H. Air National Guard and a pilot for 32 years.

“The Veterans Count program is not a hand-out; it’s to get these service members beyond their challenges and back on their feet,” Clark said. “It takes a vision and it takes a village, and I am proud to be a part of this village.”

“The S.O.S. gala is a special night to commemorate, to pay tribute and to honor,” added Greg Whalen, chairman of the board for the Seacoast Chapter. “Quoting E.B. Sledge: ‘As the troops used to say, if the country is good enough to live in, it’s good enough to fight for.’ We are privileged to be able to fight for those who have so bravely fought for us.”

Relive the evening through photos and a video, and a special Vietnam Pinning Ceremony video.

About Veterans Count
Ninety cents of every dollar raised by Veterans Count goes to the military and veterans services program. Of these funds, $60,000 will support a care coordinator of the program for a year, which will support more than 300 clients. Approximately $35,000 will be used monthly towards emergency financial assistance such as housing, mental health needs and other critical issues military members and their families are facing.

Navy SEALS storm Newfound Lake for military fundraiser

By | In the News

Arriving by parachute, helicopter and boat, U.S. Navy SEALs made a huge splash Friday as stars of the inaugural Swim With A Mission, a fundraiser on Newfound Lake for military charities.

The event at Wellington State Park was organized by Phil and Julie Taub of Bedford.
“We couldn’t be any happier,” said Phil Taub, adding he and his wife were extremely grateful for the assistance of more than 200 volunteers.

He pointed to the large number of participants in the 5K and 10K races Friday morning and the 1,000 or so spectators who several hours later watched the SEALs, both active and retired, show off their stuff.
The SEALS parachuted out of a helicopter and later jumped out of the same craft. They also made a waterborne landing with a dog and demonstrated the close working relationship between SEALs and their four-legged colleagues.

Although he didn’t have a final tally on Friday, Taub said Swim With A Mission (SWAM) had raised “lots of money.”

The funds will be divided among the Lakes Region chapter of Veterans Count, Bridge House Homeless Shelter and Veterans’ Advocacy in Plymouth and the Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Fla.

A tri-athlete and a longtime business attorney with Nixon Peabody LLP, Taub said the idea that became SWAM began in 2016 when he observed a SEAL exhibition at the SEAL Museum and inquired about the possibility of a similar exhibition on Newfound, where he and his wife have had a vacation home for three years.

Retired SEAL Nix White, who as a member of the FROG-X Parachute Team, demonstrated a high altitude–low opening (HALO) jump with retired Marine Corps gunnery sergeant Marc Hogue, said Newfound Lake was “awesome.

“It’s a beautiful lake,” White said, and much warmer than the ocean off San Diego, CA., where the SEALs train.

After their jumps, White and Hogue posed for photos with Robert Wilson, 93, of Bridgewater, who had been enjoying a beachfront seat.

A native of Groveton who came to the Lakes Region “for the fishing and stayed,” Wilson wore a cap that announced he had served “four years. Never on land,” aboard the USS Houston, a light cruiser.

Designated the CL-81, that Houston was the namesake of the USS Houston, CA-80, which was sunk on  March 1, 1942, during the Battle of Sunda Strait in the Pacific.

Alex Ray, who founded and leads The Common Man family of restaurants, said his company was happy to provide food for SWAM, and said he was “blown away” with how organized it was for a “first-time event.”

He was also struck by the generosity of the public.

“We didn’t even put prices on the food,” he said, instead asking only for contributions “and we filled two buckets with money.”

“This is America,” Ray summed up, “and I’m proud of it.”

Rick Kaiser, executive director of the Navy SEAL Museum and a retired Navy SEAL Master Chief, said the money raised by SWAM “will directly benefit our Trident House Charities Program, our three-tier approach for supporting our Special Operations community.”

The Navy SEAL Museum “works tirelessly to preserve the history and heritage of our Navy SEALs and their predecessors,” Kaiser said in an e-mail. “We are greatly honored to have been chosen as a beneficiary for Swim With A Mission and are deeply indebted to Phil Taub and his hard-working team.”

View photos here.

Pack & Boots 5K Raises Money for Veterans

By | In the News

On Tuesday morning, nearly 300 runners ran through Portsmouth in the fifth annual Pack & Boots 5K road race to benefit Veterans Count, starting and finishing in Prescott Park. Veterans Count is New Hampshire Easterseals’ program that provides veterans with financial assistance for “stop-gap measures” in times of need, including helping with car repairs, helping cover rent if they lose their job or require heating fuel assistance in the winter, according to race director David Hampson.

“The money raised from this race will go towards helping veterans in New Hampshire,” said Hampson, who also serves on the advisory board of Veterans Count. “We run this race on the Fourth of July to symbolize patriotism, the birth of our nation, the freedom our servicemen and women have given us. We felt it was appropriate recognition of veterans in conjunction with the birth of America.”

Hampson said the need amongst New Hampshire’s veterans continues to grow as more and more of them learn about Veterans Count’s services.

“The need is endless. It’s like anything: you don’t know how large the need is until you start serving it,” said Hampson. “As we’ve gained more publicity in the community and veterans know they can come to us that need keeps growing because we find people no one knew about. We’re keeping people in their homes and allowing them to be able to commute to work.”

David Chicoine was a private in the 173rd Airborne Division and was among the first American ground forces deployed to Vietnam. On Tuesday, he was running for his fellow veterans.

“Today is for saluting all of the veterans and especially the Vietnam veterans for the 50th anniversary,” said Chicoine, of Portsmouth. “We always need to be saluting our veterans, especially on this gorgeous Fourth of July.”

Poulin Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler donated a custom Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport that was being raffled off. Anyone interested in purchasing tickets can go to to purchase a $200 ticket or text “Vetsjeep” to 51555 to be directed to the website to buy a ticket.

In the 5K race the overall winners on the male side were Matt Sawyer, of Eliot, Maine (17:27); Jasmin Lepir, of Dover (17:44); and Ryan Proulx of Portsmouth (17:54). On the female side the winners were Corey Dowe, of Barrington (22:21); Luke Dinwoodie, of Dover (20:08); and Katie Swenson, of Portsmouth (21:14).

After the 5K some doubled-down and competed in a 1-mile survival race where they laced up a pair of boots and threw on a backpack, which was 10 percent of each competitor’s body weight, to honor veterans and those currently serving.

Zachary Noftz, of Kittery, placed first for the men in the survival race (6:56) and Christy Rousseau of Burlington, Vt. finished first for the women (7:54).

“It’s great to be able to wear the uniform and run with other veterans,” said Andy Middaugh, of Dover, who is a Sgt. in the Army National Guard. “We have great weather, this is a great course and this is a great way to help out veterans.”

View photos and watch a video of this year’s Pack & Boots 5K.

Pack & Boots 5K to Help Soldiers

By | In the News

One of the “runners” in Wednesday’s Pack and Boots 5K for Veterans Count was a Vietnam veteran who completed the race in a wheelchair.

It was the sixth annual race on the Fourth of July supporting Veterans Count, the charitable arm of Easterseals Military and Veterans Services, that provides resources and services to veterans, service members and their families.

The race began at Peirce Island and ended in front of Prescott Park.

In addition to the 5K road race, there was a survival run in which participants ran one mile wearing 10 percent of their body weight, similar to what a soldier wears.

“It’s grown each year,” said Kathy Flynn, director of development for Veterans Count. “Certainly, we have veterans that run the race, but such a small part of our population serves, it’s up to us to show our pride for them. It’s exciting to celebrate on the Fourth and a great way to start the day.”

Approximately 340 runners had registered by race time Wednesday morning. Gen. Donald Bolduc, recently retired, gave the opening remarks before both the survival run and 5K.

“It’s classic Fourth of July, hot and humid,” said race director David Hampson. “We’re just thrilled so many people came out in this weather to support our veterans.”

Service Credit Union is one of the race’s big sponsors. Volunteer Jaime Yates of Strafford said they bring water each year to support their overall sponsorship with Veterans Count. She said Service Credit Union is a “military credit union, it’s in our roots.”

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