Veterans lost during COVID-19 outbreak at Holyoke Soldiers’ Home remembered

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Wednesday served as an important reminder to pay tribute to veterans who are alive and remember those who are no longer with us. 

There are more than a hundred veterans that are receiving care at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, but dozens are no longer there because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The state, which oversees the operations at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, held a virtual ceremony to praise the veterans all across the state. This veteran’s day comes amid a COVID pandemic, that killed many local veterans that lived at the Holyoke Soldiers Home.  

Seventy-six veterans died during the outbreak that began at the facility back in March. 

“That is such a sad event,” said Milton Jones, a Vietnam Air Force veteran. “Regardless of who the blame was. The fact is we lost 76 lives. They should be remembered all the time. Primary care should be given to them all the time because they put their lives on the line.” 

Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration announced the advancement of the capital project to update the soliders home. The architectural firm they hired, Payette finished their report, detailing what the next steps should be.  

Gov. Baker said this project will modernize the facility, which will provide the highest-quality care for all vets that need care. 

Currently, there are no active COVID cases among veterans at the home, and one veteran is recovering at a facility off-site from the skin disease, scabies. 

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