Guard Support Banner
Guard Support NewsGuard Support donate button
January/February 2011 

Our Mission:
Jobs for returning Guard members

Article Features Guard Support's Programs

Article featuring Guard Support and our "Hire Guard" and "Entrepreneurs' Funding Program" ran on the front page of the Telegram & Gazette on December 28, 2010. 


Vets Get Job Help: Nailing Down Civilian Jobs Can Be Stressful  

By Lisa Eckelbecker, Telegram & Gazette Staff

Photo of Ben Mehr and Helder Machado

Photo by Telegram & Gazette

Ben Mehr (left) and Helder Machado (right)

WORCESTER -  Benjamin J. Mehr carried one burden when he went to war in Iraq, and he came home to another - unemployment. The 25-year-old husband and father of two boys hauled heavy loads on his back while deployed as a specialist with the 772nd Military Police Company of the Massachusetts National Guard in Taunton, only to return in October 2009 with a herniated disk injury to his back and the discovery that the ailment would prohibit him from returning to work as a carpenter. 

He searched for jobs and took a temporary position as a Census worker.

"I ran across not being able to translate my skills to a civilian position," said Mr. Mehr, who lives in Northboro. "The jobs out there were things I didn't have any experience in. It was very overwhelming. It felt hopeless. At more than one point, I felt I wasn't going to get anywhere."   


Thanks to a small nonprofit group, Guard Support of Massachusetts, Mr. Mehr found a job working for another Guard veteran, Helder A. Machado. And Mr. Machado won the first loan that Guard Support is offering under a new initiative, $40,000 that is helping him ramp up his technology business, Machado Consulting, now housed in offices on Shrewsbury Street. 


To read the entire article click here.

Foundation Support
Eastern Charitable Foundation Awards $10,000 Grant

TEastern Bank logohe Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation has awarded a $10,000 Partnership Grant to support our Emergency Financial Relief Program. Grant proceeds will directly assist National Guard families residing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with emergency financial relief assistance throughout the grant period.


"The mission of the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation is to contribute, in a meaningful way, to the health and vitality of the communities where we live and work," said Laura Kurzrok, Executive Director, Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation. "We are grateful to those serving in the National Guard and proud to support their families."  

Guard Support aids the members and families of the Mass. National Guard when deployment causes financial hardship. Families frequently need emergency financial assistance after a spouse deploys overseas. To date, over 60% of grants disbursed have been for direct Emergency Financial Relief to the families of the men and women of the Mass. National Guard.  

Community Events 
Salem Benefit for Guard Support Raises Over $6,000
National Guard members pose with Mrs Petite America

Massachusetts National Guardsmen pose with Katey McMahon, reigning Mrs. Petite America

Guard Support's benefit held on February 26, 2011 in Salem, Mass. was a great success - we raised over $6,000. 


We accomplished our goal of building awareness about Guard Support and raising funds for our Emergency Financial Relief program, which helps National Guard member families who are experiencing financial difficulties, often as a result of deployment. Check out the Channel 5 - ABC affiliate video clip:  Fundraiser Helps National Guard Families 


A special thanks to Guardsman John Walkup for organizing our event (read more in the Salem News article Local Veteran Plans Benefit for Guardsmen) and to Darlene Louf, founder of the Voices for the Troops Facebook page. Thanks again to each of our amazing volunteers and the over 30 businesses that donated in-kind services and prizes. We have heard rave reviews from lots of our attendees - everyone had a great time. We plan to make this an annual event.  

Photos by Don Hennessey 

Sherry Handel and John Walkup pose with band

Left to right: Sherry Handel, Director Guard Support and John Walkup with the band Slurred Vision

We had a fabulous lineup of entertainment, thanks to Soulo Productions, which featured singer Darlene Louf, the band Slurred Vision, DJs Kevie Kev and Mikey B - Bearclaw Productions, Elvis impersonator "The Birdman", and Neil Diamond impersonator, Rich Kelly. 


Photography was donated by photographer Don Hennessey, who captured the spirit of our benefit throughout the evening. 

Check out our  Facebook "Salem 'Fun Raiser' photo album for more great benefit photos. To read more about our Benefit click here

Join Our Mailing List
In This Issue
Our Mission: Jobs for Returning Guardsmen
Foundation Support: Eastern Charitable Foundation
Featured Article
Quick Links
Follow Us
Find us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter
You can now follow us on Facebook and Twitter

"Thank you for letting us sell our Charlie Co. 181 Infantry wristbands at your February 12th benefit in Salem. We brought in $185. It was very nice of you to let us keep 100% of the proceeds (we were planning to donate a portion of the sales back to Guard Support). This paid for Charlie company Valentine's packages that we mailed out to our soldiers in Afghanistan."  


- Kristi Pucillo, Chair of the Charlie Co. 181 INF Family Readiness Group


Guard Support provided $1,000 in grant funding this deployment cycle to the Charlie Co. 181 INF family support group. Funds are used for support group meeting expenses, care packages and a portion will go towards a unit welcome home event.