Commentary: There is help for veterans at the holidays

John DeMello, Southington Veterans Committee
Phone: (860) 276-6299

For most of us, some of the greatest times of the year are the holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. But it can also be the saddest time of the year for many that can not afford the ability to provide for themselves or their families.

We, as a community in Southington, have an amazing group of people, businesses, and organizations that provide help for to those in need of assistance. The Southington Veterans Committee is part of a coalition in Southington that works in unison to provide help and aid in our community.

The veterans committee works for veterans and veterans’ families in need of support with entitlements to benefits, but we could not be successful without our ability to reach out to our community for support. The amazing work and services provided by Janet Mellon and her staff at Southington community services, along with Donna Ayer, Missy Cipriano and the rest of the staff at Bread for Life; Jack Eisemann at the United Way of Southington; Liz Chubet and the rest of the Southington Public Library staff; the members of the Southington Marine Corp. Detachment; Kathy Reinhard and the Aqua Turf Club, are just a few “angels” that made miracles happen for veterans and their families during this holiday season, as well as many others in need in our community.

We often take for granted what we have in our lives. There will be many people waking up on Christmas Day without the joys and laughter that were once heard in their happy homes. Life can take a turn at any time and cause hardships. Are you going to live in despair or reach out and get help?

Let our coalition of forces and amazing people in Southington help. The Southington Veterans Committee wants to help veterans and their families obtain services that they might be eligible to receive. If you’re a veteran with postraumatic stress disorder, a veterans that suffers from the effects of Agent Orange, or a veteran that suffers from another medical condition or illness that was a result of your military service, let us direct you to the right resources.

Call us at (860) 276-6299, email us at, stop by our office, or join us at our monthly veterans coffee hour in the lower level conference room at the Southington Public Library. Our next monthly coffee hour is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 10 a.m. We hope to see you there.

As we approach Christmas and the New Year, please remember our deployed soldiers that will not be able to rejoice, surrounded by their immediate families during the holidays. But they will be in the hearts of their military family that extends worldwide.

May you all be blessed with good health, happiness and joy! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

John DeMello is a member of the Southington Veterans Committee. The committee can be reached at Town Hall, 75 Main St., by phone at (860) 276-6299, or by email at