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Veterans Voice


FLU SHOTS: The VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System is stocked with vaccine for the 2012 to 2013 flu season.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue into May. Peak months for flu activity are January and February.

Free flu shots are available to all veterans enrolled in VA health care at the Leeds medical center and all five outpatient clinics in Fitchburg, Greenfield, Pittsfield, Springfield and Worcester. VA patients can also receive the vaccine at their regularly scheduled primary care appointment.

Veterans can schedule an appointment by calling 800-893-1522. In Leeds, flu shots are available Wednesdays from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Primary Care in Building 1 of the medical center.

BENEFIT CONCERT: The “Salute To End Of Summer” concert has been rescheduled to Friday, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m. at Club V at the Florence Veterans of Foreign Wars Michael F. Curtin Post 8006.

Tickets sold for the Sept. 8 concert, which was canceled due to bad weather, will be honored. Appearing will be the Bronx Wanderers and Joe Pucci and the Long Boards. To purchase tickets, call 584-8396 or 584-8006.

FIRE PUMP: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded $300,000 to the state to install a new fire pump at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke. The grant will cover about 65 perecent of the estimated $500,000 project cost.

In fiscal 2011, the VA spent nearly $2.2 billion in Massachusetts to serve the state’s more than 360,000 veterans. More information is available at www.mass.gov/veterans.


Calling the roll

Following is a list of local veterans whose obituaries appeared in the Gazette Sept. 13 through Oct. 3. The information given here about their service is what was provided in each obituary.

Edmund Robert Ciriello, 78, Northampton, d. Sept. 27; U.S. Army, 1957, honorably discharged for being underage; U.S. Navy, 1958, Guantamano Bay, Office of Naval Intelligence, naval intelligence officer.

Bruce Warren Walton, 80, Northampton, d. Sept. 20; Korean War; U.S. Air Force, 1951-1955, Yokota Air Force Base, Japan, and Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

Ronald J. Lucia, 83, Easthampton, d. Sept. 18; U.S. Marine Corps, 1948-51, corporal.

Edward E. Pratt, 73, Florence, d. Sept. 18; Air National Guard, master sergeant, 104th Fighter Wing.

Llewellyn McKenzie, Amherst, d. Sept. 15; U.S. Army.

Kevin F. McQuillen, 70, Sunderland, d. Sept. 15; U.S. Air Force, 1962-66.

Veterans Voice appears on the first and third Saturday of the month. Readers are encouraged to submit questions, story ideas, announcements, military photos with captions and other materials of interest to veterans. Send submissions to Veterans Voice, c/o James Lowe, Daily Hampshire Gazette, Box 299, Northampton, MA 01061; or email jlowe@gazettenet.com.

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