Tuesday night, a group of ten Scituate veterans attended the selectmen’s meeting to discuss a proposal for a veterans service agreement with the town of Hingham. Scituate and Hingham would join services and share agents, the full-time agent from Hingham and the part-time agent from Scituate.
Chair Anthony Vegnani tried to comfort the group by explaining that they will be in good hands with Hingham Service Director Keith Jermyn, “He’s an Iraq war veteran, very computer savvy, understands the process, you know really comes with a lot of experience. So we’re looking forward to working with him to find out how we can improve our process here.”
However, some Scituate veterans are not in favor of the agreement. Bob McHugh stated that if all towns are required by state law to have a veteran’s agent then Scituate veterans should not have to rely on another town, “We all talked and we all feel that Scituate should have a Scituate agent 35 hours a week. We want an agent, we’re entitled, we are not contiguous with Hingham outside of some connection through the woods.”
Edward Covell is worried that returning soldiers will not have an available agent in town if needed, “My concern, and it is the extreme case, of an Iraqi vet coming back who has mental issues because of what he’s been through, who knocks on the door and says ‘I need help’, but there’s nobody home.”
Scituate selectmen voted in favor of the agreement and stated that the contract with Hingham is considered a trial basis to decipher the current needs of Scituate veterans. The joint service agreement goes into effect immediately until June 30th, 2012.