As I am sure you are all aware, the recent events in Afghanistan are heartbreaking. I am devastated for U.S. service members that were killed, and their families. I continue to work with our federal delegation to do all that we can to get American citizens and our allies out of harm’s way. This has been a tough time for us all, especially veterans. If you are looking for resources, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office.
The Agawam Public Library has started a new initiative to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11. The library is creating a public display of 3,000 U.S. flags to memorialize the more than 3,000 lives lost on 9/11. Patrons that simply visit, check out books, or get a new library card will receive one flag to contribute to the display.
As chairman of the Joint Committee on Veteran and Federal Affairs, we have been hosting listening sessions across the commonwealth to better understand the needs of veterans. This week, I was fortunate enough to host a roundtable discussion at the Holyoke War Memorial on Massachusetts Veterans Treatment Courts. It was great to hear from the experts and the people with “their boots on the ground” on what we can do-legislatively. Treatment Courts, like the one in Holyoke, are another avenue to help our service-members, and I look forward to supporting them as chairman.
Later in the week, I met with stakeholders concerning sports betting here in the commonwealth. I look forward to working on this legislation that will legalize sports betting in a safe way and bring in much needed revenue for the commonwealth. I also had the chance to tour the Forest Park Zoo. It was great to see my friend and Agawam resident, Nathan, and have him show me around the zoo.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 is back on the rise due to the delta variant, and we must continue to stay vigilant. I implore that you all take the time to get vaccinated. If you need help with signing up for a vaccine, do not hesitate to reach out to my office.
As always, if there is anything I can do to assist you, please never hesitate to reach out to my office. I can be reached at my email, [email protected], or by phone, 413-572-3920, and you can find me online at senatorjohnvelis.com, where you can also sign up for my newsletter.