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NH Agency: Honor Our Aging Vets as Well as the Fallen

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 By Monique CoppolaContact
May 22, 2009

Concord, NH – Memorial Day weekend has long been the unofficial start to summer in the Granite State, and for many, a time to honor those who have lost their lives while serving in the U.S. military. Members of The State Committee on Aging in New Hampshire ask that we also remember our aging veterans, who are in need of help. New Hampshire is home to about 140,000 veterans, and fewer than 25 percent are enrolled in support services.

That needs to change says Russ Armstrong, the chair of the veterans subcommittee for the State Committee on Aging. He says, many older veterans are either unaware of available services, or they don't think they deserve help.

"The older veterans sometimes don't consider themselves veterans if you ask the question. The right question to ask is have you ever served in the military?"

Stephen Gorin, executive director of the New Hampshire chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, says many vets from previous generations don't seek help because of stigmas attached to mental health and other services.

"We need to reach out to these people now, as they go into old age, and make sure they have whatever they need."

The State Committee on Aging and other agencies are currently involved in outreach efforts in long-term care facilities, as well as to family members and friends of veterans, to help make New Hampshire's aging vets aware of the many services available. More information is available at www.dhhs.state.nh.us.


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