New council to advocate for needs of Massachusetts veterans

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BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker swore-in several people Friday to explore ways to help veterans to better access critical services, such as health care. Veterans in western Massachusetts face a unique set of challenges in this respect.

Public transportation is limited in parts of western Massachusetts, and that can make it difficult for veterans to get to doctor’s appointments and to find jobs once they return to civilian life.

The state hopes to change that. Governor Charlie Baker swore in 12 people to his Advisory Council on Veterans’ Services Friday. The group will explore ways to improve access to veterans’ benefits: from education and employment to housing and health care.

The Baker administration is also reviewing existing laws and regulations to help vets live a more comfortable life.

Victor Nunez-Ortiz, Vice President of Veterans’ Advocacy Services, told 22News that veterans’ resources are limited in the western part of the state. He hopes to address issues surrounding post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I think it stems from not enough jobs, not enough resources for homeless veterans, and I think we can tackle those,” Nunez-Ortiz said.

Friday’s swearing-in ceremony comes just a week before Veterans Day.

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