HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Just two days away from Veterans Day, the Veterans’ Home in Holyoke made sure to celebrate the upcoming holiday by helping those who are currently serving.

Living at the Veterans’ Home are hundreds of men and women who have served our country, and typically the building brings in speakers or other entertainers for the residents. But just before Veterans Day, instead of the typical afternoon activity, the veteran residents made care packages for currently deployed military members.

The veterans got to fill the packages with toothbrushes, socks, bubble gum, and so much more. As Veterans Day approaches, the Massachusetts National Guard Unit will now take every single one of these packages and ship them around the world.

Veterans’ Home Superintendent Michael Lazo explained to 22News why doing this is so meaningful. “It’s a lineage, it’s a sisterhood it’s a brotherhood that the military has and its just a way of this generation helping out the next generation,” Lazo said.

Veteran residents told 22News that receiving a care package back when they were deployed meant the world to them, so they are happy to do this act of kindness to “pay it forward.”

“I know when I was overseas, what would make my day is getting my care package, and I could always count on my relatives to send me stuff they knew I liked,” veteran Roger Cote said.

“They’ll be very happy. I know I would be. I did get a care package, and it had all the things I needed,” veteran Charles Stowers said.

Appropriately, the theme of Thursday’s activity was “Heroes Thanking Heroes.”

“It’s just a great way to let the folks know overseas that they aren’t forgotten,” Lazo said.

While the veterans continue to do acts of service, there is ongoing construction on a new Veterans’ Home for them, which is worth nearly half a billion dollars. The new home should be completed by 2028.

Local News

Heath Kalb is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Heath on X @HeathKalb and view his bio to see more of his work.