Written by Brighton Marine CEO, Michael Dwyer and Easterseals Massachusetts President & CEO, Paul Medeiros

In a recent op-ed in The Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Brighton Marine President and CEO Michael Dwyer and Paul Medeiros, President & CEO of Easterseals Massachusetts, pinpoint the needs of Veterans during the pandemic and outline potential solutions.

As similarly detailed in other op-eds placed in regional media outlets, Dwyer and Medeiros highlight the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) study, commissioned by Brighton Marine in 2020, which identifies several priority areas for Veterans needs and assistance.

The goal of the report was to examine which Veteran needs were or were not being met, and what efforts should be considered to address them. Dwyer and Medeiros go on to note they are committed to implementing the recommendations the CNAS report suggested for Veteran-serving organizations, including revamping outreach efforts, breaking down the barriers to information, mental health support, tailored support for specific Veteran subpopulations, financial assistance, and access to housing networks.

“The CNAS report includes key recommendations for policymakers to consider,” they write, including “Implement Veteran-specific mental health care benefits; phase in Veteran service officers with language skills, most significantly Spanish, that are commensurate with the increase in foreign language speakers in Massachusetts’ and to streamline the Veteran benefit application process.”

In conclusion, they write, “Brighton Marine and Easterseals Massachusetts are committed to working on these recommendations and we will continue to develop important partnerships and efforts to address these issues. Our Veterans and their families deserve nothing less. As a Veteran Network Community, we invite any military and Veteran-focused organizations to contact us to continue the conversation and take action.”

Read the full opinion piece here, originally published in The Worcester Telegram & Gazette on March 29, 2021.