Mistress Carrie's Side Piece Episode 15: Sec. Francisco Urena, Dep. of Veterans Services

Wednesday, November 8th

Mistress Carrie interviews Francisco Urena, the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Services, for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He is also a Marine, Purple Heart recipient, advocate for military members, veterans, Gold Star Familes, and an amazing guy. Someone she is proud to call a friend. We spoke about the benefits of hiring a veteran, bridging the military/civilian gap, the services and benefits available, what Veterans Day means, how you can get involved, and so much more. Log onto https://massvetsadvisor.org/ and http://www.mass.gov/veterans/ for more info. And follow on social media at https://twitter.com/MassVetsAdvisor https://twitter.com/Urena https://www.facebook.com/MassDVS/


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

This just curious side piece pod here. First match on WB AF dot com. I'm a woman. And I think we're good. We are life. Welcome to W where. Thank you so very much in such a privilege to be in your company in this thing so I wanna make sure them addressing you correctly so. Your name is Francisco earring and a yes you are these secretary for veteran services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is on it that's right isn't it. So more people calling you know that's kind of along name. It is so I usually just go by Francisco okay well people respect thing secretary. To the it to the aspect that title of the petition by. Marine who also works in bright and well absolutely I mean once a marine always a Marines are. Wolf thank you so much for coming in hanging out at me is the week of veterans day it is and so there's a lot to talk about and everybody. At this time a year is really focusing as they should be all the time especially this week on our military and veterans in. Talking about all the different events that are going on in all of the different benefits and just all of the different things that are happening because it's a busy time especially for you. No actually in this whole month we'd like to celebrated as veterans month. We don't like to just pack something in just this week or all veterans Dave and this this upcoming weekend is the sense of the whole month has events and activities. And is a sense not only just in government but also in the private sector that hospitals that are businesses that about places of employment. Celebrate or recognize the year. Our sense of members who have served and sacrificed and also their families. To be able to recognize them and celebrate their service and your appreciation. Where these men and women who have served who have now relieved sacrifice and are now part of our community as a. A lot of veterans would be the first ones to point out the service of the family. Because you see the uniforms so you think of it this soldier the airman marine. But to think of the family. That is required. To support that person. In all the training in the deployments and all of that I've always noticed that. Active duty military prior service veterans they always are the ones to say I had eighty easy. My family. Served. As well and it was harder for them than it was for me. Oh absolutely. You know we who who have served or know that that's a sacrifice we raise our right hands. Now we bow our allegiance to our constitution and to the way of life for Americans. What is the families that end up being drafted into the sense of service and and sacrifice and following. They are loved ones around two years at a time in different bases and institutions and that is the other aspect of when they come home. Our families are the biggest test that the we have an identifying. Some of the changes in behaviors in our veterans have and ensuring that we place them focused but above and beyond the sense of they re integration that our veterans have our families we love all we we always appreciate him and hear Massachusetts we know that when a veteran serves a family sacrifices. First and foremost we will we share that sense of recognition. In also our caregivers. Those that are living at home with a veteran remind them that sense oath of here giving so that they can remain at home. Longing to be your years of life whether it was war two Korea peacetime Vietnam. The gulf war Iraq and Afghanistan inning going down to sixteen years of of combat for some of the families to have been a serving alongside of some ovals families. We know that fear of fear and news is important to recognize and this week this day in and this month and throughout the year. And it's not just veterans day you as a marine you get the 12 punch of your birthday that's and then veteran staff that's right. And mr. scary you know that your boss and we do it right over the conventions and earned likely we're doing this on the thirteenth. Because that's when the common not going to be able to comment along with 18100 Marines are going to be celebrating the Marine Corps birthday at the seaport World Trade Center. But Morse is specifically over at. At the convention center. Where December of island guy yeah 18100 Marines both active and retired Dan. Formally active duty. Are going to be having a grand time if they've been having now for more than thirty years you kids and. You can tell when there's a congregation that large of Marines in any one given place anyone given time. Indeed in they it's like a seismic shift. It is a tradition in this something the marine celebrate the rural the world LaDainian a post that Iranian embassy at mania pop part of the country and around on the world weather station Marines pauses celebrate her birthday. That's what we've dude at least on nestled into either as a sense of tradition in Knoll branch of service. Honors gave birth date of the branch of service like the Marines have to continue to that you guys it was a big cake and there's always a sort involved which allows. I love it it and indeed India you know ending combat situations there is a key bar in get substituted. Well now swords are practical and warfare anymore but they sure are fun to have a party. Indeed. Always in moderation at half a well before we get into all of the different festivities. And everything that's going on this week. I wanted to go back if you don't mind in just talk about you a little bit you are. In my opinion the epitome. Of what. Is wrapped up in the American dream. You really are. What this country is really capable. Because you're an immigrant and a and a wounded battering and and now you got an office in the state house work for the governor on behalf of all your fellow Marines and all your fellow veterans it's. It's a pretty unbelievable story. It really isn't very humbling and I can count would that imply like that in that way obviously one at things that the plan was joined the Marines there after high school. And that was an experience on its own 12 serve an American embassies vice. Stock ran for another four years and happened to be right after 9/11 when realistic. Four that sense of commitment to our country. And came home to the community of warrants just north of the city of Boston which was in 2006 and me when I return underwater there was the Mother's Day flood. Of that it's right situation and became involved in the community became. Entrenched into the aspect of helping people translating the message from English Spanish because 75% of the communion or to the time and if the remains that. Is Spanish speaking. Associate aspect though helping fellow neighbors and knew who need friends that I was meeting as I was integrating. Myself transitioning. From eight years in the core. Coming back to to a neighborhood I didn't really know. And so. That became a sense of then. There's a veteran service office that was in disarray because the veterans agent has some challenges on his own in and it was absenteeism and there were people need to weren't giving the services. I thought volunteer their for boss six months. And one thing led to vendee aspect of the role becoming available. And I was offered a job in four years later. Got a similar call from Boston Mayor Menino. Wanted me to block I'm interviewed for the city of Boston commissioner to that department. And serve the city of Boston and its people for bond of four years when. Governor baker candidate Charlie Baker game it's a little call at the time you get some good phone calls say you know Agassi got her phone on earth. Except for this interview. But. Is a sense of you doing good work. In his service above self. VD set to reckon isn't happening in and I've been very humbled them. I've had great mentors and great people who have guided me along the years and the continue to do so. And so I'm very thankful for but it is our opportunity to pay for it and actually that's what we do here masters is here for veterans care for the finally set the right example so that. Not only a sense of government programs that yes we do well. But also how to we influence the private sector to also give opportunities of employment and recognize the belida veterans bring to leadership and their sense of mission accomplishment and how old naked. May those companies that much better by leading the way becoming team members and successful people and within our communities. Well it's a really important thing because. It seems an ever widening gap. Between. Those that are served. And the rest of us that it's because where an all Millen an all volunteer military. Ands. Number of people you know the 1% that do serve. The other 99%. This chasm exists unlike in World War II or Vietnam where. People were being drafted from all different walks of life. I think Senator McCain was recently talking about about creating lake military class of service class. And how dangerous that separation can be. Between those in uniform and those that are not in uniform. For the country itself that making those bridges in connecting the civilian populace with the military and veterans is extremely important. Indeed. This for the last sixteen years almost seventeen now. Unless you have somebody who was serving well if you yourself Fserve often enough it is a second thought that we are stolen combat as a country. And that we have men and women in harm's way around the world. And it is that sense of military divide. Which you are speaking about that only those who have borne you've won the battle and in the worn the uniform and families who have sacrificed really know. And and provide assistance for but it was great people like you who continued to advocates. And bringing awareness and we have so many great teachers and here Massachusetts. It is a partnership between the legislature. Our governor baker who has continued to keep the sense of military families and better families in the forefront and and the support that they've we continue to provide but he did send a sense of example and reminding the communities are costing conversation that we must have. To ensure that. Veterans remain popular. To ensure that our military families are part of every conversation that we have when it comes to policy when it comes to. A re integration so that they'd are not that second class citizens who come home and there's more opportunities for them. And it's an amazing. Long rich history in the commonwealth with service obviously. It's where the military started. The revolution but even going so far back that they Yankee division. You know just had their hundredth anniversary. And how they were the first mobilized National Guard unit to report to for World War I break and go to France and and so this long proud military lineage coming from Massachusetts and New England. Has continued with some of the largest deployments just since World War II when it comes to. A 181 hon Ernie second hip entries in Afghanistan and the one point I've Marines I mean we've centrists all many people. Do you have any idea how many people from Massachusetts have been boots on ground. In all branches since nine elevenths. We know that about 42000. Men and women have returned back to Massachusetts sense now eleven. And the reason or we know this because masters as has a welcome homeowners. And we kind of tracked down those who have. Their discharges reaches the sense of the task that made these orders should scheme in these other people wearing your communities must reach out to them ensure that they get there. Our social welcome home. And so those are some of those Lyndon both adjust the men women who we know that are from Massachusetts to qualify for the bonus that is an account for the thousands who come to our institutions of higher education. And our private schools and our active duty military just this last week I was at Harvard. Our secretary of VA's doctor schalken was here with election she reached in there was a handful of active duty military going to Harvard Law School. As an aspect of what the military's investing in them in the future and and what they're. Continued sense of service is going to revolve around. Investors once school. There's so many others there's so many veterans taking advantage of the GI bill. Which is paying full tuition and cost of living to live in a place like Boston and and and and surrounding neighborhoods to be able to take. Part of war class education. Which we have here and throughout Kabul office so we're very fortunate to have. He says of institutions. But we continue to do more and continue to advocated and and yes that we have a rich history and yes our country started in places like Lexington Concord in the sense of the revolution. And that's because. Because and because of that we do have programs and services that predate the VA. Are the sense about veterans service officer in every city and town which is required by law. It's something that is very much different. In Massachusetts than our neighboring states in new England and the rest of the country. Missing I didn't even know that says it that's amazing. And indeed is a bet network of local veterans agency and every city and town. People who must be veterans and it. Most of time resided in those communities are there 24/7 seven days a week working around the clock to ensure that. They re integration not only of our most recently returned veterans. But that week here for Dole's World War II veterans and Korean war veterans in the way that we have. To ensure that the are firing parts of communities those of the people that this week and are going to be planning veterans day events. And functions and and and the sense of commitment to them. To be able to celebrate their service to our country. So pretty that's listening that has a veteran in the family. That is never tried to take advantage of any of the benefits that. There's of veterans service officer in every community in the common correct. And if you call that person I'm sure you can go online and you find out who the veterans service officer is. Because that's what you did or so what benefits what responsibilities. Are in that office and what kinds of things to people go to our office. There is a bonus there at a minimum 300 dollars for our war two veterans a thousand dollars to those who have surge in Iraq and Afghanistan another 600 dollars for every additional deployment the house. There's also benefits and services available for gold star families and we always ensure that we keep them. First and foremost and just most recently governor baker. Of close the gap mistress carrying disease you know military benefits are from the date of application. But he thought that it was important enough that our gold star families. Dare annuity goes. Dates back to debate of staff of the loved one. So that but not to exceed the start of the program which was so 2005. Or 2001. Relatively so. Some families have lost their loved ones than they did you know that there was an annuities for three years later they applied in a sense they missed three years' worth of payment and so. While 2000 dollars may not be a lot of money it was a sense of just. Closing the gap in doing what's right for these families and so bad affected thirteen hundred family thirteen hundred gold star families in Massachusetts. Who had missed more than six months worth of annuity payments that was a seven million dollar investment that was placed into of this last year's budget. To ensure that we can close those castle's family. I was and make sure that I'm not taking for granted that people know what a lot of these terms are. So just to clarify for anyone that's just listened to podcasts. A gold star family is a family that has lost a family member in service. Do you know where the blues star gold star banners and the winners and that's the door to possible. To tradition actually. Ended you know anybody has watched save prior Ryan as as a very. Recent movie and assess the highlight that sense of sacrifice yes. That's where that dates back and and so it's it's a red trimmed banner with the white block inside and if it's a blues start means that someone in your family is deployed correct. And if you change the blues star to a gold star banner innuendo it means that you lost a family member overseas serving in uniform. Something that every family who is serving that's the last name and they want to be associated way. Of a Sally many thousands of families since nine elevenths have served have. Gone through that process and not just veterans in combat. It is the aspect of wearing the uniform military action as happened just this last summer you saw those two military ships that had a cattle she's Dole's families. Our gold star families as well families who lose loved ones were in a helicopter accident goals families are also gold star families and not just by me. The aspect of enemy action. And also we also recognized families who have lost their loved ones because of service connected disabilities have a veteran. And was 100% servers connected meaning the VA raided them to that aspect and he died because of their injuries we too recognize those families. As part of both sides of a new hitting connection to against is all about sense of community. And so that the he not. We do not allowed to forget those families. In process. And the gold star family community. Thankfully is small. Smallest possible but a close knit community. And the same thing with the blue star community is well because there's really no one else can understand the pressures of having a loved one deployed. Then another family that's going through those same things because there's a lot of things that people just take for granted when someone is deployed or whether it be just having that second adults to you know help with child care. You know things around my house having that person missing around the holidays it goes back to what we're talking about about. The families are serving justice marches as the person in uniform. So when you go to the veteran service office so it varies the benefits they're for the blue star families there's a benefits for the gold star families obviously. But say you're just a veteran and year. In financial trouble maybe you're having some health concerns. Maybe you're having legal issues or mental health question ends it war. Housing employee mandates all of those things can be filtered through the veterans service office correct. Solely it will read now mr. scary I forum where it's not as I say bring all ovals since that many more and also often in office than this sense of a connection. That these agents have to make an assessment to sit down with those veterans not to say hey that's let me probe into your life but. There is a menu of benefits and services that most veterans do not know that are out there the moles veterans don't know that they qualify for from. And to add to the Euro lists the sense of education home buying. First time homebuyers forums the sense of the VA. I GI Bill Lynn and purchasing. Their home investments in the business of bringing together business plan and having the Small Business Administration. You know pretty much funded your business plan but also some of the things that many veterans don't take advantage of and and go under utilized. And so it is the job of our agents and is my role to empower them to have as much information as much access. To connect to veterans and we are very efficient at what we'd do just most recently. We were audited by the state auditors office and found that. Our programs are very efficient in what we do 99.9. 8% efficiency. When it comes to our financial programs and the record were very proud of we know we can do better. And we continue to do more reach because I think that is our biggest challenge. Connecting the veterans that don't know that. Veterans agents have existed in Massachusetts. Since before the French and here. War and there's also benefits specific to different awards is what your purple heart recipient and act yes so the purple heart community as well there are certain benefits through the VA. When it comes to receiving a purple heart aura silver star bronze star. Obviously the medal of honor there is massive amount of benefits that are awarded those worthy recipients as well. And people just might not be aware are correct that that purple heart opens up a whole other set of benefits for them. Absolutely I've solely in this for example like sports we have so many to choose from here Massachusetts but if you have military award. Of the special designation you should be very proud to display that in and Europe bumper. Of your car with a with a a license plate and often enough the registration fumbles place place purple hearts to hired her designations. Are. Is something that is waived. That'll sold the designation of a veteran should be very proud of their service and I think in in getting and that investment in veterans plate. Is also one other assets that distinguishes you. As a veteran. Whether on the road or a Rory on your license and that's another aspect that we have made license replacements are free of charge for veterans to add that designation so that this week he could go into home people and you go to your favorite restaurant is giving you a veteran discount this weekend. Or free meal. And again we don't have off veterans I. But you can place veteran billionaire sharing your driver's license and that suffices when you walk into this institutions that just wanna recognize you. Where you're sure risk to our country. I handle a lot of guys that would never ask for that benefit would never ask for that discount. And how I explain it as a civilian. Is I say there are a lot of extremely grateful civilians. That did not serve for whatever reason I wasn't medically eligible. And they're very grateful for your service. And they want to be able to give back to you in what ever way they are able. And so those discounted meals free meals discounted Home Depot all. Or whatever it is. Is this civilian populace is a way. Of saying thank you. Because they feel like they should be grateful. Or what you've done for their right to be home running that business putting their kids in school. And so are not taking advantage of it is almost like not. Accepting the thank you. Yeah no actual Lian and is something we encourage every veteran. To not only take part but to think that. Institution that is providing that benefit because if you care about that next generation that's coming if you care about your fellow service member who you serve to the right to left. You probably say you want for yourself he was somebody else you'll accepting Europe keeping that tradition going to the year after year. These types of benefits. In and and think used in appreciation or celebrated just as much as we put together care package for our troops going overseas that are serving overseas or. Or two or our veterans are stationed around. That is what it means to. New place together and I encourage businesses to find creative ways. To think that the local veterans because that is how we kind of bridge this divide between them those who have served and those who haven't. And you're right not everybody has the opportunity to serve not everybody has. Via the aptitude or just increases are and that's okay that's that's our country's all about choices. And nobody is forced to go into the water and that's what we have the world class service members that we have because they all wanna be here. You've you've seen them young you've been right side of. Days and as soon as they get out there wanna go back in as soon as they come home I wanna go back to where they were deployed. They they did that's the community. And so is our responsibility and this this aspect then just be very clear that veterans are assets in our communities. I Yasser veterans have challenges of their people have challenges. And so it is our job and two to advocate for them and and and ensure that our partners whether those at the federal level. With the of BA in administration or the VA hospitals in here masters and we have three major VA hospitals. Clinics outpatient centers and vet centers that are of the year. And I trusted them and I'm a patient of the VA because they choose to go there I have many options in health care but I choose to go to the can I wanna BO among fellow veterans. And when I learned of a different gaps and articles weather at that patience a waiting room. Or in the sense of an experience that then somebody else is having. I want to make sure I have the right context hoot to close those gaps as we have continue to do so. Say to a veteran that is in need of care. And the first thing they say is not there. At Columbia. We've all heard stories. It did BA's been around a long time there have been massive surges of veterans and it's it's not a constant flow. A massive surge comes back after a huge major deployment. And then depending on and the the operational tempo of the military it ebbs and flows. But what do you say to someone and maybe had a bad experience before or is just heard stories just goes off the last play some Dahlan is the day. You know when things that we're being very pro activist helping the VA brand themselves. They have been hosting justice month of veterans month open house. Stop and take a look at what obviate the city look like even if you where they're Marino one of the stores spoke to a veteran said. I'm never going to be had a terrible experience that what it's a semi there those 1969. I said he no luck testing SF. It and ended minister but he it to that point. I speak to many veterans here in Massachusetts in my travels it in in the sense of connection to tell me bade driven and trust the VA because of their great experiences. And is not my saying I'm not just here to repeat a good story. It is the aspect that often enough the media just parked raisins looking formal press stories to. Four shall read other because that's bless the aspect than and that's that's just made were making the system that much better because we're addressing those individual. Our concerns. And like any institution they have senses of improvements that we close gaps now nothing's perfect but I tell you. There have been many improvements made many investments Mano the last four years that have been ensuring that the VA. In our partners have resources to institute. And it listened with a sense of the choice act that now a veteran to go to a new facility that he wanted if there waiting more than thirty days. They can get a local law outpatient type of phone service in their community. Many veterans choose. To wait the time. And avoid death sense of going to a community location because of the good relationships. That they happen and I know that. We had top tier hospitals here in Massachusetts and and that reflects because of multiples practitioner. Our role soul. Opera practicing at the VA facility. And the VH has trained nationwide 70% of every doctor your doctor. May have at one point in time has some sort of cross connection to the VA because. The VA not only does research and treat veterans but the sense of innovation that happens at the VA. Is because of the aspect of research singles on. And in dental practices have been shared with our public institutions are for those who haven't served. It's better recovering theme on this podcast whenever we're talking about military anything you talk about the amazing. Leaps. In medical care. On the fields. When you're talking about the casualty rate in World War II verses Vietnam. To now is that the technology and the training of the medics. They're able to take to get our troops off the battlefield to wounded. And the in my time it takes to get them into 88. Class a medical facility. To save their lives and that technology. And all of the innovation that's gone into. Treating them their recovery where I'll I think casualty rate would be a lot higher. If we didn't have all of that and then you go in and see how it's implemented in the civilian world and and a great example. Is what happened after the marathon bombing or. Because you had so many people that became amputees. It was so touching to see that the first people that were at those hospitals to tell those people there are gonna be okay greens work but exactly that's exactly that where they are standing on their prosthetics saying. We've been where you are we've done literally pardon upon all the leg work on as we have and case study of the innovation and prost addicts and you are going to be running in the marathon. Any year it's. In us agree folks that continue to share and there's audible when it comes but yes there's tons of animation tons of research and but to that point that many more veterans are surviving combat injuries are recurring back tore communities in and because of it is a sand. We must continue to not keep those individuals isolated that's like so many events happen here Massachusetts. Like wounded veteran runs. And if so and so activities that happen and we must continue this beyond this week beyond this month. And throughout the year. As a sense of connection. It is part of the sense of saving veterans lives as we talk about isolationist we talk a bulb the point that when investors that commit suicide which I must tell you. Suicide is an American pro 170 Americans and commit suicide each and everyday. On average and it is an aspect yes veterans that have higher proportion of that. I'll bite your experiences by defense. There enters service. And community events and activities in the sense of just opening your hear your doors and organizations to a veterans. Building that bond so that you could talked to or another fellow veteran to have a sense of conversations. That is how we're able to to ensure it but to the assets we know that of all of those when he veterans that have they commit suicide. A body of them are not part of the VA. So we want us make sure that more veterans have that says have access to healthcare and sense of access to ensuring that. Dole's opportunities of their for them and by the way it is Georgia lottery officials twenty to 22 numbers are you here. For the most part are fifty to fifty through sixty year old veterans so we must make sure the yes we care for that generation as well. But that we have programs in place so that when the 25 year old veteran turned sixty that bears also Dole's services available for him or her. And and I stress her because. Email buttress our fastest growing demographics. A veterans around the country what. Say to the people that and I know this has been a struggle in the female veteran community for a long time up until recently. Front line amusing the Bonnie your votes your Frontline combat jobs more open to women. So a lot of women veterans that came home in the early stages after 9/11 and they were look at like there service wasn't as important extreme dangerous. Traumatic. Because they couldn't be on the frontlines. And now. Yeah I mean obviously now we all know that that's a fallacy obviously we know that there is no front line we see it every day that there is no. Line in the sand and and uniform on both sides if you cross this line you're the it doesn't work that way anymore so what do you say. Not only to the female veterans but just the community at large when it comes to how they view of female better. Yeah often enough there's a sense of a disconnect and so we're doing more to empower female veterans of this. Thursday were having that female veterans appreciation. Day at the state house putting together programs so that we can recognize. Any previous years we've had 42 ladies alongside of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans be they all share that sense of experience. Is pouring more awareness that. That UCL veterans play and a feeble striving and don't assume that that's her husband's. Until that sense of of connection. And there's that we've had a lot of sense of success but there's more to be done and and and with more females having roles in combat. It is important to ensure that upon their return to our communities that they could have a sense of focus a family building. And all the things that we value our females in our communities. To ensure that they have those opportunities that women's health care. It is continue to be in the for frontlines to says the VA has placed some investment. And a public institutions have done as well you know I know you very closely and as I am with the home based program. That place a focus on mental health and re integration and they have now opened their door to every veteran. Ever since. It's amazing how quickly it's grown on it that day we've had general Hammond the executive director who I met in Afghanistan. In here and that the home based programs started with. A visit from the Red Sox after they won the World Series to Walter Reed and that they wanted to do something more and Larry Lucchino wanted to get more involved. So the Red Sox foundation in mass general hospital got together and created this home based program specifically for post 9/11 veterans. And in a decade or alas. Have been able to generate enough funds. Research staff facilities to now open up their services to any veteran of any Aaron it's amazing how quickly that program is grow. In tremendous partnerships and they're bringing in veterans here for from around the country for two weeks intensive programs that compacts the whole year worth of treatment so that any veteran. And their families can take part of that program how partnerships with other major hospitals and soon more to develop. A big fans and that's the aspect of innovation and we're all in this together and that's why. Eight and sure and I share it Dole's best practices. And and have that sense of of integrating. The veterans community and we always keep our doors open for more because if you're doing something with veterans it is important for me to share. What you're doing and how we can promote your success because your success translates to more ventures having access to pass as a community. It's unbelievable Lee you know you may not even know. That the people that you're working with on the civilian side in the corporate world. Even served I know personally I you know couple years ago I crash my motorcycle. And I had to have reconstructive surgery I went to mass tiny. And I go in there and you know my face is all busted up and I need a surge and I getting in my face aches and worried about how it's gonna effect. My sense of smell and my voice for obvious reasons. And IA wakin and and blocks my doctor. She's probably my age. And I am you know word like on the docket you know is he going to be able to put it back together and whatever and she looked at me and she was like honey. I've been put Marines face is back together for a decade she was a navy surged in the event. I had no idea she's working now on the civilian side at mass saying here. But that's. What she was doing and where she honed her skills and really made a difference in service. And now I'm sitting in her doctor's office and I know as you can tell from my nose which is symmetrical and works terrifically. You know but I had no idea that she was a veteran doctor and actually. Made me even happier when I found that out. A sense of trust and yeah it is it is that value that they use burying. To the table to Nolan and and and value bill sacrifices and that's why we talk about veterans and asset. That Doctor Who experiences an asset to Mass. General I any air to the aspect of any institution and we're so fortunate here in Massachusetts New England. To how of this world class type of network. Not every state how does what we have. And we must continue to assure that this. Last long into the future that future generations of service members were leaving the service. Have the sense of opportunity. The sense of community in a sense of connection. And it is our role. In government to provide. The benefits of service that are available and knocked keep them as best kept secrets as they have been done in the past. Well you can attest to this from your own personal experience. Coming from service. Leaving the military at least on paper it once a marine always a marine and going into corporate and government work. If you're talking to someone that was in a position to hire for a civilian job and you're looking at resonates. And you're looking at someone that has served and someone that has cancer talk to me about the kinds of qualities. And the types of things that a veteran and their experience in the military brings. Choose the civilian world from their experience. Or so all veterans bring that can do attitude I often have this conversation some of neighboring facilities around this neighborhood. I've had these conversations into what the value veterans we often try to innovate that conversation with what is your human resources department doing. To bring or provide a sense of opportunities many companies are now adapting the sense of creating a special email. Only for military Rosa may succumbing to those companies so that they could avoid. That's awesome being lost in the shuffle. Or not mean the right. The language that your electronic got a sense of Reza main. Researches is putting into this as a company that. Veterans can have that can do attitude veterans have tremendous a sense of about teamwork and their leaders but they're also team players Darrell sole. Of people then valued the mission that no structure their respect. The the aspect of chain of command and know that when something is due on a timeline that does not do you know 45 minutes after that time line. This sense of punctuality. There's so many things that we talk about now veterans but. There's so many veterans are probably working within institutions in this seat who who it is see who's who's. How you could a lot of sense of opportunity had those conversations into how we can do more. And these veterans service officers are we having communities could be agree start. You could find them at your local city halls or town halls we'll several web site mass that's advisor dot org mass that advisor dot org. Is a what are we created to capture every benefit in service available to every veteran family caregiver. And one of the first tools that you find on that website is a directory of every local agent in any city in town by typing a zip code. What do you say to the person because I've heard this before and see is the political climate is so tumultuous right now. What do you say to the person and when you talk about. Civil service veterans preference when you talk about all of these difference. Services that are available for veterans in and hiring veterans initiatives what do you say to the cynic that says. Look. They signed up they knew it there are getting in or they got paid it was. Their job. Why we do they how how much is enough why do our veterans to need. To be treated so special they were just doing their job my blood is boiling by the way saying a word out loud but I'm just quoting what I've heard. So how do you answer that person that says. Listen they just doing their job. What they didn't expect to get shot at their soldier to go to war of course why do you get all these benefits above me when you get home. It's the aspect of shelving that experience. In bringing that experience in in to assess who worked for specially for our first responders. Nobody wants to walk into a burning building or or in two potential situation was somebody has gone. The average person's gonna say no that's not for me. But there's the experience that did you bring howdy DO escalate a situation how do you do you put that sense of training. To ensure that death safety of that individual who may be inside that building. It is is contained. Dole says that this type of skills that veterans bring to the table does all the opportunities. In the sense of why respect veterans. Yes a sense of our culture just as much as we respect women and we have a sense of value and in our reverend our neighbors. It is art is the American way as the sense of respect that we must continue to to provide. And yes you know they volunteered. But they feel volunteer for forever for life they come home to community they wanna build a sense of family. And it is opportunities such as some of those preferences that are had. That give some death sentence of connection and and a leg up often enough to to be able to compete for a position or job. Because they spent four years south side of that type of competitive workforce or education realm many will come back and have that education Merom and now they're they feel that. They might be for eight years behind the power curve to that high school person that went straight from. High school into education into the workforce. And so it is our sense of connection to those veterans and and and programs and services. They continued to identify. And reward those who have served for their sacrifice. It's not all encompassing. Life as well if you're counting and you work nine to five and you go home and live the rest of your life money through Friday. Your job doesn't dictate every single thing about your life whereas when you serve in the military especially active duty where you are like you were saying. Moving plays to plays. You're traveling you're not in control of where you go you're not in control of where you live you're not in control of where where your family garage or not in control of your own hair cut or what you Wear data today and then when you are deployed you're away for a year. 1416. Months at a time and you're working 24 hours a day seven days a week until you come well clearly so it is way more of an all encompassing professional and if you wanna use that word which I don't really think applies by. For lack of a better term when it comes to volunteering as your job to be in the military. I have absolutely captured vessel want to get your experiences of of living in the shadow also some of these service members and knowing a lot of these personal sacrifices. You have a lot of insight that the average American doesn't. And you know we're shall honored you're always the year an ally first of all of veterans and and military. Because moral stories need to come also that the average person those 9% are not serving. It had a sense of connection to sacrifice here you're right that toy for our life. And that is why. The sense of transition is important to our veterans when they come home because they're no longer told. Where they have to be how the what they have to Wear what they you know must do and assess Centre of one of the biggest things that in business they can do is ministership. Mentor a veteran enough for the sense of hiring him or her before the sense of giving them the insight of success the tools that of the trade of business. Over to the business school go over to any college or university talked to veterans every veteran institution here in masters is all Twain I'm public institutions. Have now all of veterans lounge. We closed that gap and ensuring that there's a space for veterans to help they'll have both imports and is a great place for a as a company. To place together and and if you wanna hire an offensive activity our one stop career centers which are dedicated to giving opportunities to anybody. But placing veterans as a sense of our head of the line. Job place postings that happened there are veterans have 48 hours on average to compete for those before the average cost of filling those. And it is that sense of value. And these essentially of them till today the basket shakers that are available. In ways that the private sector candidate. Take actions you know 42000 veterans cents in sixteen years is now a lot of people just right now we have about 22000 job openings. In written in dust just in metro west. In the sense of the eastern part of the state goals are gaps that are happening right now bulls are in jobs that we need to fill. To ensure that the sustainability of the workforce remains. Many veterans many veteran families could it be part of that and news our again our response really and while we take very seriously. In continue to deliver and empower and make connections to veterans. In your office at the Statehouse because you're near balancing between. Democratic legislature and our Republican governor. And we've all seen the news it's incredibly. Difficult. Politically these days to have a conversation about anything. And I shot myself when I heaven forbid took a photograph. With senator Warren when she was around the halls sitting down with a group of veterans answering their questions about. A legislative steps she was working on a veterans behalf. So she comes in I take a picture with her and the next thing you know on FaceBook on instant Graham. There's the people that hater and there's the people that lover. And there's no compromise. And there's no sense of I'm willing to listen to you and I'm not. And we've obviously seen just in the news in the last month about gold star families who used to be off limits and and now I've been. Rusty in two. This political argument that just won't end. When it comes to. Talking about our troops and our veterans I struggle a lot. With trying to get people to come back to the table. And not make it political. Because I really feel like it shouldn't be political at all the the politicians have to fund it they have to allocate the money they have to make it a price. You worry but so many people. Raised their right hand and swear an oath to the constitution and and they they either didn't vote for the person that now their boss. Or there's an election and their boss changes and political parties changed how we have this conversation. And get. Two diametrically. Opposed sides of an incredibly. Upset populace to come to the table and compromise. When it comes to supporting our military and veterans because it almost seems impossible right now. I think their support is there. And and veterans are one of those populations are very trusted in the military and the Department of Defense is one of those institutions a year after year. Has a sense of support. And I wish that. Other topics around politics would be as amicable. To be able to bring that sense of compromise. That sense of support. Because we are in a very divided country. You're right there's many politicians that. I Europe mum when he noticed none nobody in the sense of in the middle where her fortune here masters is that our legislators. Are governor gets along. There is not a sense of hey I'm doing this for me your two and brought in my agenda to put it before anything else it is. Every year there's a veterans bill in Massachusetts and as has happened now for the last five years that. Bring together as a nominee bosses are moving vehicle things that could happen there. On around veterans day on around memorial lame as all a part of legislation. That benefits and continues to place us messed uses as the number one state in the country. When it comes to the investments made in veterans and military families. Again it's is this a sense of put it to putting aside some of the bickering. And what is important what do you wanna accomplish one is great for not only for yourself before for the rest of the country and I tell AI. Me can't even watch football right now without the military and veterans and everybody becoming this centerpiece. All of a buy real debate on one insider the other. And in China did he escalate the rhetoric is almost impossible. Now. Now it's it's that is a tough aspect and I and doesn't seem to be getting any better. I'm hoping that as we look at veterans say this weekend. That we put aside some of those bickering and focus on that sense of celebration and a sense of of recognizing the sacrifice of these men and women have a place. Now there's also less sense that many. Of our elected officials just don't wanna work side by side and on national level. They talk like they do but there's not a sense of connection and and it was part of that is that we don't have as many veterans serving as we had in the past. We have the lowest numbers of of veterans. In elected office and that's another aspect that as we value in the sense of election you know this week alone we're gonna have a major election. Here in every year there's major Alexis budgets presidential eaters. And so as a sense of recognizing. Those ever present you in that sense of value and what you want them to accomplish on your behalf. It is it is just crazy to look at. The amount of people that have served and then when you look at the governing bodies whether it bi national state and local. If you ask people in congress or in the state legislature or on your own City Council. To stand up if they were veterans day. The amount would be so small. Yet we've been talking so long about all of the different skills and benefits there are two veterans from their experience. And you know I think that maybe if we had more veterans that were in a position of power. That word drafting bills that were voting on behalf. I think a lot of those divisions would come down I think it's very difficult for civilians and and I would ask you to kind of expound on this not only because. You are an immigrant. But you also are Marines. And when you get put in that uniform. Your color York read your gender. It. All. It is boiled away in a sense to boot camp bright day that you you lose your identity to become. Part of a greater Spain. My describing that really you. Our I think that he did you know that that part of useful there. Is this is the aspect of insuring that the focus is above yourself. That the mission comes first and Europe needs come second and I think that some of that aspect is which we had more of that that we can focus on. Things that wears a common ground where's the sense of of what we want to attain how to we bring more people to a room to just have. Dialogue in conversation not yelling and bickering but the sense of what we want to accomplish. And there's so many more opportunities for that and an annual rate the military focus on the and that's the value veterans and that's when we talk about the business world. That is what veterans bring in tune into business that's what veterans bring into a classroom of diversity and worldwide experience and people who have. Walked in to build those low war scenes. And war fields in bulls who have supported because it takes about seven other individuals who support goals in the front lines that so. The sense of logistics and mission accomplishment and ensuring that vote the focus is placed on a mission that's what veterans have rocked to the table. That's what veterans. Bring to the table and that's totals active duty military that are serving around our our our country and around the world. Are doing just right now this very minute putting a sense of America first and that sense of mission accomplishment in that sense of representing. Us as a country. So what do we want them to represent what are we showing the rest of the world it was a time that that was important to sense of ambassadorship. All of goodwill how others view that tell you that picture of how others view us if you were chiefs say watch our news channels as. We shall in the sense that you're turning that on in in Europe or Asia or any part of the country they're just sit back popcorn watch in the show oh yeah. Of that and that's again I think that's if we had to put a focus into how long there are viewing us in power or the influencing their conversation as first locally starts in our neighborhood starts in the sense of I'll hold that focus like it's at today is Tuesday in election. Is happening in most local cities and tells me yours are being elected today and the results are gonna tell. It's that sense of who we yours neighbors we are. As citizens of this column waltzes and those country. And we want to ensure that others view us and others could be you know our young families. And in it's extremely important. I tell people just in my limited experience overseas that I was never really aware of how lucky I was. To be born a girl in the United States when I was until I was walking around the mountains of Afghanistan. And I look at it like I already won powerball yes I already won the lottery just being born. In the United States in this time because I could have been born. Anywhere else on the planet and I wouldn't have the opportunity that I have now favoring an it was a it was an eye opening experience for me I think anybody that's done any kind of extensive travel. Overseas civilian or military. Issue you go to a plays. Where what. You perceived as is not a great life at home. Gets put into perspective really fast and you while I really am a lot luckier than I ever imagined it was some real. Quick real quick that's something that I've always valley you know I knew that my experience in the in the Marines wasn't that bad because I remember soldiers in that the maker public walking around their uniforms even Ian when they were believed there was necessity take off the uniform you're like part of that police force. Why your your your home. And I thought hey if you are so I had to take up this year for our impressions of the entire. That is something I'm very grateful and my whole experience in the military in my whole experience life and as an American. Is that sense of grief honestly in the Basque Country and number one country in the world for as many challenges. That we may have as a country we see we have agree. Compared to so many others that don't and that is why we are the envy of so many. Around around the world of sense of rights our sense of liberty our passion for Porsche sports or the sorts. That's who we are and we must continue to to ensure that duels values remain for generations I'm. Is that why your family came here from the Dominican Republic dissident in search of that American dream. That is why many families yeah come to this country and wells for and we I was fortunate to to land in Massachusetts. And to be had vessels of opportunity. And is something them silver grateful I have cousins that. Beckett have been marketed in the tables can reflect. And I can have bin that the person watching from afar. And Italian that the sense of opportunities that we have a year and yes it's a sense of traveling and not just a military orders. Once you travel overseas and you leave that resort. You see how others are habit and how we he argued that. That much better. And and yes like anything else we could improve upon. I'm here in America and their neighbor whose could he could become better and more strength but is that sense. Sometimes we bicker about things that just if you put into perspective. There's other bigger challenges that we. I'll defer to find more of what we have that's a light then it makes us different I mean growing up I didn't know a lot about the Dominican Republic. I don't think there's anybody in Massachusetts that doesn't know. At least some an about the Dominican Republic now yeah because there seems to be this mainline pipeline between Boston and the Dominican Republic now mostly the Red Sox are what are you happy but I mean just button but you get a leg like David or teacher. That is so proud to come from the Dominican Republic and bring that culture. And brain all of that with him in and sharing it with the people of Boston. For sure I just love. Watching the way that Boston does that end and when you go back and talk about the veterans community. And how it all just feeds back into itself all over again and it it really is. You know if I if I could look at a perfect world that it that it should all boils down to that essence that we all kind of realize that we are all on the same team at the end of the day of soul and that's the fight. I think and that's what we should be celebrated at the right the American Primerica wane fairly mr. carried it takes for. Terrorist actions like 9/11 for us to waive that fly and be proud of who we aren't come united. And we don't have to wait for the next terrorist attack to happen for for us to do that it is a sense that we should be celebrating and yes this week and we felt very veterans. But it's a sense of you know fierce sacrifice. In what they serve for that waving of that American flying the red white and blue it's what. They put their uniform on each and every day to ensure that those of us at home. Continue to have the sensibilities. And the sense of opportunities that that we haven't thought people are gonna challenge that statement. And is an is a fortune. But most that most of the time those folks are not the ones have warned of the battle one have worn a uniform and again this is a choice that we'd made. And if a choice if they came before me again. And I was seventeen once again and Gregory high school we do it now because I know what experience that growth that I had from that. The sense of maturity that he gave me in the sense of doors have opened ever sense. And that's how when I mention young kids that's the some of the things that I don't encourage folks into the military is your choice. But is a sense of Valerie. Americans Petrino before I draw the core. Was it was an I think a lot of the sense of passion and love of country. Came from Boy Scouts. Which now boys and girls could join the Boy Scouts now. We'll see that was the thing like growing up I want it to be a boy scout okay because what the Girl Scouts were doing wasn't what I was interested in. I wanted to be out in the woods and learning how to start a fire and learning how to tie knots with my grandfather who was a navy battery and then. I wanted to do all that stuff I really bombed our own. Your little girl in all the boys in the neighborhood are doing something sort of fitting in and elegant and I really upset that I was a girl and that they told me I couldn't. They're really bum to me how well. You know I'm excited I think if there's a new realm. Of of the scouting program excited for a bulls opportunities because I've heard a story many times I I saw how many sisters of of scouts that. We're the envy of of the year. Brothers a sibling counterpart to. We're coming back telling these great stories of officially car after the fires the bonfires and they did in the marshmallows that they were able to tune to cook and roast and and that sentence. They are experience was like always also cookies. And I'm trying to attract Napolitano and especially when there are certain amount of girls. That are just not interested in those kinds of things. And so those are the girls. That. Scouts who do the same Stockton. I mean I want to trial for the team and high school because title night came and had said. Well there isn't a girl's football team and I love football and I'll tell you what a lot of people really pissed off about it. And got really ups. Now you'll look back at and you know there's girls played football all over the place them back when I was in high school. I mean you might as well thought that I you know wanted to tell you this guy wins you know bright orange in at a stay that way they gravity wasn't gonna work anymore. But I think if and when it comes to women serving I think a lot of Pulitzer Prize at a woman would want to serve in combat role that you would volunteer for those kinds of jobs. All women Wear but that percentage of women that want to do those jobs. Can do and it doesn't want you. Know who because you're obviously don't wanna do. Think shall live if you're gonna serving US Senator Biden tell leader she can't. That's what that's was about remember when. Females were Syrian and country there was this Tuskegee airman and that's one of our African American pilot yeah doing more to were part of the segregated unit who with the red tails were able to through their example courage. And service where you essentially. That's started at the conversation of civil rights because if we integrated the military which we did before the country receive an integrated back in 65. Those who talked a coverage as I remember talking to Luther Mack when he has since passed then I remember visiting him and he was in hospice that week that. Our congress passed the laws to allow females to going to comets and Luther. Females cannot go into combat in an hour raspy voice he said what you want me to say congratulations. Heavy what do you say to people that like combat. If I thought about that that statement something I don't forget. But to those that want to allow them if they here are up to the task. If he could do the job which. And Eagles have proven that they can I think is the essence of opportunities that they can serve and any hero. And I think that translates into our culture. Also out of the military. Vet anybody do anything. And also the opportunities that we have here in America that you'd all have in other places around the world were places where females are still denied their rights to drive a car. My letter loan you know defend the sense of a unit to or early lead up people and into combat or the sense of running a business. That you must do the job they Europe off our families have done for centuries because that's all your good for and that's literally go around the country and that's what's happening. That today NS and an that they go continue long into the future because that's. A lot of countries view the roles of their populace the world. Orally ego is under your very busy this a busy week for you need. If there's a veteran listening. And they served an and I noticed this trend. That bears. The person that serve within Serb wartime so they don't think there are veteran enough. Then there's the person that served during wartime. But they never deployed so I don't think they're veteran enough. Then there's the person that deployed during wartime but their job is on base and they weren't. You know on the front lines getting shot at every day so they don't think they're veteran enough. Then there's the guy that was on the front or the girl there was on the front line that was getting shot at but they get injured so they don't think they're veteran enough. Then there's the person that was injured in combat. But they still have all their fingers and toes so they don't think they're veteran enough. And then you see amputee but their lip and I'm still alive so I'm not veteran enough and there's seem to be this idea that there is. A lot main criteria. That allows you to be battery and I'm not. An if you could rain any of those. People back in turn their gold star back blue again they would say of course your veteran in I would think capsule so what say to that person that doesn't want a ticket manageable he services because. They don't think they need them they don't think they burn them I don't think there were the unit but they're not veteran or not because I heard people say it's only. It is unfortunate something that we try to insure and in many of that generation is your war too typical veteran typical American who's now 7080 years old who. Grew up in a household where there was a sense of sacrifice then and but to everybody who has borne the battle who was warning uniform who has served with a the National Guard or reserves active duty comet or not. Be proud of your service we have systems. In place that is use it or lose meaning if people take advantage of these programs or services. They won't be there long into the future so if you really care. About that that other person these are with that you'd think is worse off than you mark. Use sign off. Make sure you promote share bringing the offense of communication to fellow veterans. And o.s and their families and then their caregivers. Because that is what we're faced with then and be proud of this week and be proud of veterans day and I know many veterans out there are. You know many few veterans I think this year that says have experience. In I think it's in in in good company. Those great stories kind of a financials in the aspect of of qualifying it's often commented as it is is. In an all volunteer force is just a sense of when the time when did you serve in what was happening around the world and word that the country. Or an average of service so that you need need edu. Two to be yet. Because again it takes seven people to Perth a sense of support to that one individual is in the frontlines. That's all holes Mobil's jobs all ovals. Tasks mattered. And continue to matter and you'd did something more. In 93% of the country has not done and that is what we're celebrating this weekend that is what we celebrate your masters is every day. SS of sacrifice and to that point. Let us all shall. Owner. Dole's families. Whose loved ones left our shores. Left our neighborhood and never had the opportunity to return bulls are gold star families that we honor today and every day specially. Dole families whose loved ones are missing. 93000 since World War II families whose loved ones. Are considered. Prisoners of war or missing in action more more likely but again they're not bolts are because their levels are missing and we must ensure that. We those that sacrificed that men and women place and we talked about earlier Iran about getting your picture without the aspect of the guy you'd paycheck and but it is that sense. Is the service to country. You have. You reach your right hand and you sign of like jacked up to include a life that your your sharpening and you mean. Return. I can't thank you enough for your time I know how busy you are but. I really wanted to be able to kind of sit down and have this conversation with you I think it's really important for people here at. Active military veteran and civilian as well. To really kind of understand why it is that we take the time and dedicate this day every year. So not only happy veterans AT about happy birthday as well I think their data the core rock enjoy your cake. Bankunited telling this competition something that we can have very early on and I think we need to have it earlier. In schools. First second grade who are veterans and what in what does that mean. Often enough I go into schools and talked to our competition is what is a veteran they thought oh people that take care of animals like north of veterinary. Total. It's that's out of the 1000 I am yes but essentially if we placed add value early on. We bad is that type of a culture and walked into the two month to share shall mrs. Kerry thank you for the support that you provide our military every day. And I wish you the very best they know that you know it's some upcoming interactions he'll be having. By your friendship and your support is something that we found. Now I've I've value was well on the commonwealth is very lucky to have some line and that is looking out for all of the veterans and and their families it's. Hardworking and dedicated to that job is Larson thank you so much they come upon cash glad to be here and out to all our veterans are around the country listening to this podcast thank you for your service. Thank you for your charter flight and to each and every one of you'll welcome home. Will put all of the links and all of the details for all of the events all of the benefits all of the services everything that we talked about on the podcast. Up in the description you can check out the podcast on iTunes Google plays stitcher. Go to WA AF dot com and make sure all the links are up there to make it easier for fine Francisco hearing it thank you so much. Thanks again all the best huge thank YouTube Francisco your rain the secretary of veterans services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. You go to mass vets advisor dot org to get all of the links of all the benefits we were talking about. If you log on to WA AF dot com you can get more details about me and my show you can stream the station live from anywhere that you are. It detects the word apt to 97107. You can download the free WA AF app and listen anywhere. You can also tell your Smart speakers to play W way out. Where you can even tell me to play Mistress Carrie side piece podcast. You can turn your Smart speakers on into a radio as well. Even find me on line on social media on Twitter at mistress carry on into granite face but at Mistress Carrie WA AF. On snapped chat mistress dot carries so. Where basically all over. And as I do every episode I always remind you take a big bite out of a big piece thank you so much for listening.