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Hingham Massachusetts, Incorporated 1635, History & Pride
 

Town Government &
  Services:

 

Departments: Veterans Services

210 Central Street
Hingham, MA
(781)741-1440

Keith Jermyn - Director of Veterans' Services
Jaime Litchfield - Interim Veterans' Service Officer - Hingham
Vinnie Fountaine - Veterans' Service Officer - Cohasset
Lisa Potts - Veterans' Benefits Administrator

Hours of Operation:
Mon - Thu 8:30am - 4:30pm
Tue 8:30am - 7:00pm
Fri 8:30am – 1:00 pm
Appointments are recommended

Contact Us

Important Documents & Links:

VALOR Act: Tax Workoff Program Application

Massachusetts Veteranīs Services Home Page

Mass Vets' Advisor

Hingham Medal of Honor Recipient, Herbert Lewis Foss

Veterans Services Hingham's Veteran's Memorial

Navy Chief Petty Officer Keith Jermyn is the appointed Director of Veterans' Services for the Town of Hingham. He is assisted by Benefits Administrator Ms. Lisa Potts.

The 'mission' of Hingham's Department of Veterans' Services is to:

  • Administer benefits to qualifying veterans and/or their dependents under Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) chapter 115
  • Provide assistance to and to advocate for all the Town's veterans and their dependents
  • Direct emergency financial assistance for veterans in need in conjunction with the Town's Veterans' Council

The Veterans' Services office is located on the second floor of Town Hall. Please call (781) 741-1440 or stop by with any questions or concerns you may have.

'Veteran' Status

There are two different sets of criteria for qualifying as a 'veteran':

  • those defined by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the purpose of determining eligibility for benefits under MGL chapter 115
  • and those defined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for determining eligibility for Federal VA benefits
    Visit www.va.gov for more information

The Town's Department of Veterans' Services provides guidance and assistance regarding eligibility for Federal VA benefits but is only authorized to administer benefits under Massachusetts General Laws.

A 'veteran' under MGL c. 115 is defined as follows:

  • Any person, (a) whose last discharge or release from wartime service…was under honorable conditions and who (b) served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or Air Force of the United States, or on full-time National Guard duty…for not less than 90 days active service, at least 1 day of which was for wartime service
  • Any person who so served in wartime and was awarded a service-connected disability or a Purple Heart, or who died in such service under conditions other than dishonorable if less than 90 days' active service was completed
    A member of the American Merchant Marine who served in armed conflict between December 7th 1941 and December 31st 1946, and who has received honorable discharges from the United States Coast Guard, Army, or Navy
  • Any person who served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or Air Force of the United States for not less than 180 days active service.

'Wartime service' shall mean service performed by a:

Spanish War veteran:

  • Between February 15th 1898 and July 4th 1902

World War I veteran:

  • Between April 6th 1917 and November 11th 1918, or
  • Has been awarded the World War I Victory Medal, or
  • Performed such service between March 25th 1917 and August 5th 1917 as a Massachusetts National Guardsman

World War II veteran:

  • Between September 16th 1940 and July 25th 1947 and was awarded the World War II Victory Medal

Korean veteran:

  • Between June 25th 1950 and January 31st 1955
  • Any person who has received the Korea Defense Service Medal

Vietnam veteran:

  • Between August 5th 1964 and May 7th 1975
  • Any person who served at least 180 days of active service in the armed forces of the United States during the period between February 1st 1955 and August 4th 1964
    • Any person who served in the armed forces during this period and was awarded a service-connected disability or a Purple Heart, or who died under conditions other than dishonorable even if 180 days' active service were not completed

Lebanese Peace-keeping Force veteran:

  • Between August 25th 1982 and ending when the President has withdrawn armed forces from Lebanon, and
  • Received a campaign medal for such service

Grenada Rescue-mission veteran:

  • Between October 25th 1983 and December 15th 1983, and
  • Received a campaign medal for such service

Panamanian Intervention Force veteran:

  • Between December 20th 1989 and January 31st 1990, and
  • Received a campaign medal for such service

Persian Gulf veteran:

  • Between August 2nd 1990 and ending on a date to be determined by Presidential proclamation or executive order and concurrent resolution of the Congress of the United States.

WAAC:

  • Any woman who was discharged and served in any corps or unit of the United States established for the purpose of enabling women to serve with or as auxiliary to the armed forces of the United States.

'Active service' shall not include active duty for training in the Army National Guard or Air National Guard or as a reservist in the armed forces of the United States.

Armed Forces shall include the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Air Force.

None of the following shall be deemed to be a 'veteran':

  • Any person, who at the time of entering into the armed forces of the United States had declared his intention to become a subject or citizen of the United States and withdrew his intention
  • Any person who was discharged from the armed forces on his own application or solicitation by reason of his being an enemy alien
  • Any person who has been proved guilty of willful desertion
  • Any person whose only service in the armed forces of the United States consists of his service as a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary or as a temporary member of the Coast Guard Reserve
  • Any person whose last discharge or release from the armed forces is dishonorable.

2014 Annual Report

The Department of Veterans' Services is responsible for administering benefits to qualifying veterans and their dependents under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 115. The Department also assists veterans applying for food, fuel, and VA support as well as arranging and managing the Town's military-related ceremonies throughout the year.

This year's Memorial Day observance, held at the Matthew Hawkes Square, featured Rear Admiral Margaret DeLuca Klein, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense for Military Professionalism. A native of Weymouth, RADM Klein was commissioned in May 1981 upon her graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy.

Also in the spring, our Director, Chief Petty Officer Keith Jermyn, was recognized as the southern Massachusetts Veterans' Services Officer of the Year. Keith was subsequently ordered to active duty with a U.S. Navy Seabee detachment in the Horn of Africa and has been replaced for the duration of his deployment by Marine Corps Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran Jaime Litchfield.

On June 11th, Marine Corps Lance Corporal Michael Leahy was welcomed home from his deployment in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Residents lined the streets from south to north Hingham to show support as Hingham police and firefighters escorted LCPL Leahy to his family's home.

In September, the Veterans Council, in coordination with the Hingham School Committee, dedicated a memorial Empty Chair at the High School Stadium in honor of the roughly 83,000 POW-MIA's still missing. Congressman Steven Lynch and State Representative Garrett Bradley delivered a proclamation to mark the solemn occasion.

This year marked the 143rd birthday of Hingham's Medal of Honor recipient, Seaman Herbert Lewis Foss. In October, Town and State officials honored the occasion with a wreath-laying ceremony at his gravesite in the Fort Hill Street cemetery.

Veterans' Day was observed in Sanborn Auditorium. Lieutenant Commander Anthony O'Brien, Sr., U.S. Navy SEAL Team 5 (Ret.), was the featured speaker. LCDR O'Brien had deployed to over 30 countries while serving several combat tours. During the ceremony, the Veteran of the Year Award was presented to WWII veteran Guy A. Stadig, on behalf of all Hingham's WWII veterans.

Throughout 2014, the Department also continued to provide support for Cohasset veterans, working closely with Cohasset's part-time Veterans' Services Officer.

Finally the Town's Veterans In Need Fund—funded through voluntary contributions accompanying annual excise and quarterly property-tax payments—finished calendar 2014 with slightly less than $15,000 on hand. As intended, distributions from this fund have been used to provide emergency shelter, heating, medical, and sustenance support to qualifying veterans in need as recommended by the Veterans' Services Officer and approved by the Town's appointed Veterans' Council.

The Department wishes to thank the Board of Selectmen, the Town Administrator, the Town Accountant, Town committee members and all the Town's citizens who have provided such strong support to our veterans and their dependents throughout the year.

Respectfully submitted,
H. Jaime Litchfield, Interim Director
Hingham Veterans' Services