“The VA has pointed me in the right direction,” he said.
"I got a whole plateful to be thankful for," said Joseph D. Brouillette, 59, who three months ago was living under an Interstate 393 bridge in Concord. Clean shaven and neatly dressed, he is unrecognizable from the photo on his cell phone of a scraggly, unkempt man with full beard.
Brouillette and other Liberty House residents were luncheon guests of Lionel Leblanc, a 37-year-veteran of the U.S. Air Force who rose to the rank of master sergeant. The World War II veteran, who served on Okinawa, China and the Philippines, said he wanted the veterans to enjoy a holiday meal.
He is from Winnisquam and said there simply are no jobs in the North Country, which is how he ended up in Manchester. "The economy up there has hit rock bottom," he said. "There's nothing for vets."
He thought Leblanc, who has taken an interest in the Liberty House residents and visits frequently, was taking him out to lunch and had no idea he was headed to a Christmas party. It was a pleasant surprise, although had he known he said he would have chosen a different set of clothes.
The crowd enjoyed a chicken or ham dinner. Singing Christmas carols and other songs was part of the festivities, not surprisingly since McCarthy has his on television show which focuses on music on public access Channel 23 that airs at noon on Wednesdays.
But Tuesday afternoon, all that mattered was having a good meal, good conversation and a good time.
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