There were wreath-laying ceremonies and parades all over Rhode Island Monday in honor of Veterans Day. But perhaps none was more poignant than one in Pawtucket.
About 200 people gathered in Pawtucket’s Slater Park for the dedication of a granite monument in memory of Army Specialist Dennis Poulin. Poulin, a native of Pawtucket, died in Afghanistan two-and-a-half years ago as the result of a rollover accident. He was 26. His mother, Doris Poulin, said she’s overwhelmed by the honor bestowed on her son.
A new report finds Rhode Island’s aging homeless population is growing rapidly. According to Crossroads Rhode Island, the number of aging homeless adults increased 34 percent between 2010 and 2012, whereas total homelessness increased only ten percent.
Terry Jones has been off the streets for six years but he still pinches himself over his good fortune. Jones, who’s 71-years-old, is a resident of the Harold Lewis House in West Warwick, a home providing single or twin occupancy rooms for disabled, aging homeless adults.
Rhode Island has unveiled a new, one-stop-shopping web site for veterans.
The new site brings together links and information about the range of services Rhode Island and the federal government offer veterans. From the home page, veterans can find links to Rhode Island college tuition programs, sign up for state and federal benefits, and even locate a service member’s grave.
Since World War II, thousands of dogs have served the USA, though their contributions often go unnoticed. Yesterday, the Rhode Island House Veterans’ Affairs Committee considered a bill to set March 13th as a state-wide holiday, “K-9 Veterans’ Day.”
Ron Aiello, President of the United States War Dogs Association, says in the past 10 years, there have been approximately 600 to 700 dog teams in the Middle East at any one time.
As Rhode Island servicemen and women return from the front lines, state officials are searching for better ways to make sure they have the jobs, education and the health services they need to integrate back into civilian life. A new report out of the state senate urges the state to do a better job connecting veterans with jobs and services.
The state counts more than 70,000 veterans living in Rhode Island, and unemployment numbers show they have a higher rate of joblessness than their civilian counterparts.
On this solemn anniversary, an update on the terrible costs of war, including the toll on veterans’ and their families’ lives, from the Brown University-based “Costs of War” project. The ongoing project taps academics of all stripes to tally up the myriad costs of post-9/11 wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, from the invisible and previously unaccounted for costs to taxpayers to the vastly under-reported costs in civilian lives, economies, and environments.