Jeffrey Hollett Serving Veterans; Assisting in Meeting Five Basic Needs ~ VALLEY PATRIOT OF THE MONTH, HERO IN OUR MIDST


By: John Cuddy – 4-24 

The Valley Patriot this March, met with Haverhill’s Veteran Services Director, US Army and Massachusetts National Guard Veteran Jeffrey Hollett and discussed the five basic needs of our Nation’s Veterans.

Most Veterans consider those needs to be housing, health care, access to education, employment, and most importantly, support and fellowship from family, friends, and fellow Veterans. Since retiring from the Massachusetts National Guard, Jeffrey Hollett has served in Veterans services, working in the City of Lynn, serving Veterans in the Town of Dracut, and now he serves our Veterans residing in the City of Haverhill. 2,890 Haverhill residents declared Veteran’s status when they filled the most recent US Census.

Talking with Jeffrey Hollettt, he feels that number is low, and estimates the number of Veterans in Haverhill, Massachusetts to be around 4,000. The first item Jeff Hollett discussed with the Valley Patriot was housing.

-Housing:  According to Jeff, Haverhill and the Merrimack Valley has several dynamic Housing referral agencies that we work with dependent upon the Veteran or their family’s needs. Many housing resources are available through the Haverhill Housing Authority, the Haverhill Veterans Northeast Outreach Center, Community Action Incorporated, Community Team Incorporated, Clear Path New England, Maloney Properties, the Newburyport Housing Authority, and the relatively new, non-profit Massachusetts Housing Navigator.

One of the rising challenges is that of a growing number of Homeless Veterans are migrating to our city. Veterans contacting Jeff’s office in need of housing, are from across the state, out of state, and in many cases originally from Haverhill. Housing is a concern affecting all of us and is a focus point for everyone in the human services industry along with rising mental health issues. Jeffrey Hollett stated it this way, “It is important to remember though that these two issues (housing and mental health) are not always linked together.

Any Massachusetts Veterans, especially those with dependent children, who find themselves at risk of becoming homeless, should reach out to their community’s Veterans Services department as soon as the problem arises.

-Health Care: Jeffrey Hollett and I discussed the rising number of physical and mental health issues among our Veterans. We discussed a myriad of resources available to address the physical and mental health their needs of.  Jeffrey lauded the work of the Disabled American Veterans Queen City Chapter 2, on 112A East Haverhill St in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The men and women at the DAV Chapter in Lawrence, are considered by most Veterans to be experts at navigating the forms and eligibility requirements needed to receive health care from the Veterans Administration.

Veterans in need of assistance navigating the Veterans Administration’s health care system should reach out to the nearest Disabled American Veterans Chapter and their community’s Veterans Services Department. Jeffrey Hollett said “ As a VSO, we want to guide our client’s to understand what is available through the Veterans Administration’s healthcare to them”. He further said, “we currently have a huge uptick in the VA Healthcare system expanding their support services for our Nations Veterans”.

-Education: The University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Middlesex Community College, and Northern Essex Community College all have Veteran’s Resources Departments. Veterans interested in attending college on the GI Bill, should reach out to the schools Veteran’s Center for an appointment.

The State of Massachusetts has a website at Mass.Gov, which offers information on apprenticeships for Veterans. Apprenticeships can help Veterans, National Guard, and Reserve members enter in-demand fields and get on-the-job training in a range of industries, from building trades to technology. The GI Bill can be used for many of these trade or technical school programs. Jeff pointed out that Massachusetts Veterans Certifying Officials at the schools have been in instrumental in getting Massachusetts Veterans the educational benefits they earned serving our Nation.

-Employment: On the website the MassHire Department of Career Services offers career programs and services to veterans to help them find jobs. The unemployment rate in Massachusetts is 2.9 percent. (February 2024) The number of applicants each year, to take the State Civil Service Exams for law enforcement and firefighting careers is dropping, leaving a great opportunity for young Veterans seeking a second career.

In New Hampshire, the unemployment rate is even lower, 2.6 percent (February 2024), so all Veterans will find a robust job market throughout the Merrimack Valley. Jeff cited Christopher Feugill of the MassHire Merrimack Valley Career Center and Wingate Veterans Representative Patricia Healy as “our go to for employment resources for helping our Veterans find good paying jobs.”

-Fellowship: One of the most important and most overlooked needs of our Nation’s Veterans and their families. In Haverhill, Massachusetts, there is a Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 29, American Legion Post 4, and American Veterans Post 147, all are focused on Veterans issues, and all are great organizations to meet with other Veterans at.  Haverhill also has a VA Clinic and two Veterans Northeast Outreach Centers. Jeff singled out WHAV radio for their work connecting Veterans with other Veterans and community resources.

A member of several Veterans Organizations and active in the Susan Komen Foundation, Charity Navigator in 2023, awarded the foundation four stars (the highest) and a 95% rating. Jeff is dedicated to helping Haverhill Veterans, he firmly pointed out, that any Veteran entering his office, will be assisted or directed to a resource that can provide that assistance. We discussed an American Legion Post in the Merrimack Valley, that when the Post’s members learned of a Veteran who was going to lose his job because his automobile was in need of repair, that Post paid a local mechanic to repair the car so that a Massachusetts Vehicle Inspection sticker could be obtained, and the Veteran could retain his job.

Jeff Hollett enlisted in the US Army shortly after his twenty-first birthday. Initial training was at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and Fort Gordan, Georgia. Jeff served for six years in South Korea. Subsequent service at Fort Detrick, Maryland, supporting the White House Communications Agency, and a follow-on tour to Okinawa, Japan. Jeff than transferred to the Massachusetts National Guard. Following the 9.11 attacks, Jeff provided security for the Wachusett Damm in Clinton, Massachusetts.

In 2002 he was the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of the east entrance to the 2002 Olympic Square during the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. This event set a Winter Olympic attendance record that still stands. He supported relief operations during Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. Jeff deployed twice to Egypt in support of Operation Bright Star, and three times to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

During his twenty-seven years of military service, he spent twelve years overseas. He retired as a Sergeant First Class. Earning the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Army Achievement Medal.

Jeff and his wife Rosie, live in Lynn, Massachusetts, and the couple have a daughter Shannon attending college, their son Joseph is serving in the US Army Reserves and is a Iraq War Veteran. Husband, Father, US Army Veteran, who is in his second career, serving his fellow Veterans, Jeff Hollett is a “Hero in our Midst”!

The Merrimack Valley American Legion Posts ask all World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War Veterans, to call (603) 518-5368 and sign up for an Honor Flight to the Memorials in Washington DC!  Veterans of all eras are asked to go the American Legion’s Web site, and join the American Legion, our mission is working with Congress, Veterans, and the Community, preserving our Veteran’s Benefits for future generations and serving all Veterans and their families.

John Cuddy served in the US Navy’s Construction Battalions (also known as the Seabees) after retiring from the US Navy; he earned a bachelor’s in history and a master’s in economics from the University of Massachusetts on the Lowell Campus.  He has been employed in Logistics at FedEx for the last 27 years.  If you know a World War II, Korean War, or Vietnam War Veteran who would like their story told, please email him at