Community Impact

Brighton Marine Launches "Operation Connecting Veterans Home"

Brighton Marine Donates 375 iPads to connect Veterans at Holyoke and Chelsea Soldiers’ Homes with their families and with health advocates during COVID-19

Brighton Marine is pleased to announce “Operation Connecting Veterans Home,” an initiative to connect isolated Veterans with loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic, when visitors to facilities like Soldiers’ Homes are prohibited.

To launch this effort, Brighton Marine is donating iPads to Chelsea and Holyoke Soldiers’ Homes to provide all Veterans in these facilities with access to an iPad, enabling them to connect with family, friends and counselors, and also to conduct telehealth sessions.

Representatives of Brighton Marine are delivering iPads to the Holyoke and Chelsea Soldiers Homes this week, and expects to deliver 375 iPads in total to these Soldiers’ Homes over the course of the coming weeks, working within the logistical limitations created by the pandemic.

“After reading about and hearing the stories of Veterans being isolated from family and friends ­and some tragically dying alone under quarantine, I thought there had to be some way we could connect them with loved ones,” said Tom Lyons, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Chelsea Soldiers Home and member of the Brighton Marine Board of Directors. “By providing these iPads, Veterans can now stay in contact remotely with those who care and worry about them. Our Veterans deserve the best that we can provide for them, and this effort by Brighton Marine will make a very tough situation a little easier for them and for their families.”

Brighton Marine delivers iPads to the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home. Marlene Calisi, Former VP – Administration and Finance at Brighton Marine, Dino DeNovellis, Former Operations Manager, and Cheryl Poppe, Superintendent at Chelsea Soldiers’ Home

“As part of our mission at Brighton Marine, we connect Veterans to a variety of resources to meet their needs. We saw a very real need for Veterans in isolation to be able to connect with loved ones during this pandemic, and are taking action to help solve that problem,” said Michael Dwyer, former President at Brighton Marine. “The social distancing resulting from COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of staying connected. Our goal is to re-establish a connection between our Veterans and their loved ones.”

For 37 years, Brighton Marine has served military and veteran families by providing extensive care services to Veterans throughout New England and, more recently, by connecting veteran service providers through its coordinated care network. In addition to providing Veteran support services, the Brighton Marine campus is  home to the Residences at Brighton Marine–the country’s first public and private housing project for Active Duty, Veterans, National Guard, Reservists and their families–and will soon add permanent housing for high-needs male veterans.

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