As Veterans Agent and as Director of the Office of Veterans Services, Town of
Abington, I am pleased to submit its annual report.

There are many services that the Director is responsible for. I am providing a
short summary of a few. Alcohol and Drug treatment; Veteran Employment and
Training Services; VA. Compensation and Pension matters; Hospitalization and
Domiciliary care rehabilitation, plus many others.

Veterans Agent is responsible to administrate Massachusetts Department of
Veterans Service program under Mass. General Law 115 to assist Veterans
and their dependents in a time of need. Being a Veteran does not
automatically make you eligible for benefits. Eligibility to receive entitlements
has to be determined by the office of Veterans Affairs. My office will assist all
Veterans with advice and paper work to help secure entitlements and
benefits, if entitled. If you are a veteran, spouse, dependent
widow/widower/parent of a deceased veteran or have a question on eligibility,
please call or visit my office. My office is located at the Town Hall, Room 207,
next to the Selectmen's Office. Phone #781.982-0056

It is with great pride that I report that the Department of Veterans Service
(Abington) has helped 232 Abington Veterans. Here is a summary of both
federal and State Benefits. These records are provided by the Veterans
Benefits Administration and by the office of performance analysis as of March

Department of Veterans Affairs compensation and pension, Federal  Benefits:
Veterans served 174; Veterans net award total $116,230; veterans annual
award $1,394,760.

Massachusetts Department of Veterans Service, State Benefits under M.G.L.
chap. 115, (108) CMR: Veterans served 58; Veterans net award total $32,345;
Veterans annual award $388,140.

Total Veterans served 232; Total Federal and State beneficiary award =

By participating in training seminars and conferences, that I attend throughout
the year, I have been able to learn about the availability of Federal funds and
entitlements and save the Town of Abington a great deal of money and also
help me to administrate Mass General Law chapter 115, which assists
Veterans and dependents and surviving dependents of deceased Veterans,
when they become entitled to these benefits, and when a need arises to keep
their dignity and pride for their service to our country.

For General information as of FY04 there are 1,632 Veterans who reside in the
Town of Abington, not including family and dependents.

Some of my scheduled time is put to:

Visits to the Brockton/West Roxbury/Jamaica Plain VA. Hospitals - to visit or
take local Veterans for treatment/appointments.

Visits to the Homes of disabled Veterans along with visits to widows of
deceased Veterans for the purpose of updating their claims, and to file new

Visits to the local Nursing Homes.

Called upon Junior High School each Veterans' and Memorial Day to help the
children observe these two very important patriotic holidays.

I want to thank the Abington Old Town Post #5737, Veterans of Foreign Wars;
Abington American Legion, Lewis V. Dorsey Post 112 and their Ladies Auxiliary
for all the support they have given me all year. The Honor Guard for both
Post's are always ready for any special occasion I have requested, i.e.
dedications of streets, blvd, ways for Veterans who were "KILLED IN ACTION",
Dedications and many, many other occasions. Thanks to Abington American
Legion Post 112 Ladies Auxiliary for their generous donation during the
Holiday for our needy Veterans and Families. Also I want to thank
St.Bridget's-St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry for their work with our needy

Thanks to both Veterans Posts and their Ladies Auxiliary's for all the local
community projects they are involved in.

Thanks to the Selectmen for their recommendation to our local developers for
naming Streets after our local Veterans "KILLED IN ACTION". The Honor
Guards from Post #5737 Veterans of Foreign Wars.  American Legion Post 112
attend all dedication ceremonies to Honor their "FALLEN COMRADES", from all
Wars, with Full Military Honors.

Also Thanks to U.S. Veterans Vietnam Era, Post #2 SSG. Richard A. Fitts
Chapter, for volunteering on occasions to help honor our "Fallen Heroes".
SSG. Fitts was killed in action in Vietnam.  His parents, M/M Walter Fitts, were
lifelong residents of Abington.

A special Thanks to Mary Johnson, my secretary, for all her expertise and
constant support in this office.

Please remember in your prayers our Veterans and families from all wars and
for those who gave the supreme sacrifice", and for our men and women who
are fighting this war on terrorism. God Bless America and may God Bless you
and your families.

                                          Respectfully submitted,
                                          "For the Love of Freedom"

                                          Joseph D. Colantoni
                                          Director of Veteran Services
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