Veterans group recognizes those who help the military
Members of the Military Officers Association of America - New Hampshire Chapter presented the Granite State Warriors Award to Dr. Gerald and Delores Carrier, of Christmas Can Cure, and Col. Rick Greenwood and Gregory Whalen, of Veterans Count.
Gerald Carrier explained they began Christmas Can Care in 2008 to help wounded veterans and their families "have a perfect Christmas" through a "broad-based community effort" that has spread from the Mt. Washington Valley to throughout New Hampshire and across the region.
"Thus we decided to make Christmas part of the healing process to our wounded veterans," Carrier said, adding participants can meet Santa on a scenic train ride, enjoy winter sports and visit North Conway.
U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said Christmas Can Cure has helped several families from across the country and has even expanded to work with another family in Utah.
Greenwood, who serves as vice president of the Seacoast Chapter of Veterans Count, said since the organization began in 2007, it has provided about $1.5 million to help more than 2,350 families of service members with a variety of matters, including providing heating fuel and paying for car repairs during deployments.
While the program currently focuses on families of post-9/11 veterans, Greenwood said the organization is expanding to help veterans of previous wars, especially Vietnam, work through their struggles.
Whalen, who serves as president of the Seacoast chapter, said helping military families is a calling for many members who don't want to let anyone fall behind.
Shaheen, who feels Veterans Count is "a critical ally to service members, veterans and their families," said she and fellow Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., have both promoted the organization.
While Ayotte was unable to attend the event, Steve Monier was present to represent her and pass on how fortunate it is to have so many organizations like Christmas Can Cure and Veterans Count in New Hampshire.
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