Why the Jeffrey M. Lucey Chapter?
In March 2011, the
Cape Cod Chapter
of Veterans For
and renamed our
chapter in honor of
Corporal Jeffrey M.
A 23-year-old Iraq War veteran, Jeff Lucey suffered from Post Tramatic Stress Disorder and in his anguish took his own life on June 22, 2004, almost a year after his discharge from active military duty. Jeff’s family home is in Belchertown, Massachusetts and his parents have, since his death, become tireless advocates for active duty and discharged military personnel who are experiencing this horrendous and widespread disorder.
With this renaming and dedication, our chapter became the first VFP chapter in the nation to name itself in honor of a war veteran who died by suicide related to PTSD. In keeping with the VFP mission to “increase public awareness of the true costs of war,” we now focus a part of our efforts on the work of advocacy and healing for veterans and active duty military personnel suffering from PTSD.
In September, members of VFP Cape Cod participated in the 2017 South Shore/Cape Cod “Out of the Darkness” Walk for Suicide Prevention, highlighting the shockingly high suicide rate among veterans. VFP Members walked in memory of Cpl. Jeffrey M. Lucey, USMCR for whom the Cape Cod Chapter is named. Shown (l to r) are Billie Stewart; Joyce and Kevin Lucey, Jeffrey’s parents; Duke Ellis; and Carole Williamson, co-chair of the “Out of the Darkness” walk.
Donations are always needed.
Last year the Cape and Islands Veterans Outreach Center (formerly the Nam Vets Association) Food Pantry served the equivalent of over 47,000 meals to the almost seven hundred enrolled veterans and their families.
The food pantry is located at the Veterans Outreach Center building at 569 Main Street in Hyannis.
This Fall we have continued our discussion about a proposal for a memorial to veterans who have taken their own lives as a result of the “hidden wounds” of war. We have talked about the various forms that the memorial could take and the scope of it as well (local, regional, statewide). Since we have worked with the Cape and Islands Suicide Prevention Coalition before, we are planning on asking them to consult with us on this project. We will be meeting with their leadership at our December chapter meeting to begin a dialogue with them about this memorial project.
I early September, members of the chapter participated in the 2017 South Shore/Cape Cod”Out of the Darkness” Walk for Suicide Prevention, highlighting the shockingly high suicide rate amoung veterans. That morning we were honored to be joined by Joyce and Kevin Lucey as we walked in memory of Cpl. Jeffrey M. Lucey USMCR and all of the other victims of the “hidden wounds” who have lost their lives to suicide. Later that same week, the chapter was once again a part of the Coalition’s ribbon ceremony for remembrance and hope on National Suicide Prevention Day.
Veterans Day this year was a double-header - on November 10th we marched in the main Barnstable town event as usual (and this year we were the largest single veterans contingent in the march!). Then the next day several of us participated in the “First Annual Barnstable Veterans Town Hall” cosponsored by the town and the Cape and Islands Veterans Outreach Center. Veterans Town Halls are a concept created by Sebastion Junger, journalist, author and veterans advocate and supported by our Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton, Marine and Iraq veteran. The idea was to provide” a chance for veterans to tell the community what it felt like to go to war” and about a dozen combat vets from Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan each gave 10-minute testimonies. It was a well-attended and very powerful event that vividly conveyed the true costs of war in stark relief. We think it will become an annual event in the town on Veterans Day.
And finally, preparations are getting underway for our Chapter’s 23rd Annual “Voices of Peace” Poetry Contest which begins early in 2018. We are very proud of this event and its evolution into a well-known and well-loved part of Cape Cod’s yearly educational, artistic and peacework agenda.Type your paragraph here.
Meetings are generally held at 6:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month, at the Salt Marsh Center, 218 West Main Street, Hyannis, MA 02601.
Everyone is welcome.
Please join us.
(No meetings July & Aug.)
JOIN THE MISSION FOR PEACE & JUSTICE,
BECOME A MEMBER OF VETERANS FOR PEACE