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History
Since 1861, from its first commitments to Civil War veterans, their spouses and their dependents, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has demonstrated solid concern and compassion for those men and women who have displayed sacrifice, valor, and duty when their state and nation called upon them. The Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services supports a network of services and benefits to ensure that none of the 600,000 veterans in Massachusetts today, who served in time of war, nor their 1.2 million dependents will go hungry, be homeless, or be medically deprived. Following World War II, the Legislature redrafted Massachusetts General Law (M.G.L.), Chapter 115 establishing the position of Commissioner of Veterans' Services, who has the responsibility for the proper administration of M.G.L., Chapter 115. This program provides the necessary support for veterans with the dignity and the sensitivity to which they are entitle, in view of the sacrifices they have made for their country. The dependents of deceased veterans are also provided with the same benefits. It is the Veterans' Service Officer to whom the unemployed, the indigent, the disabled, the ill, or veterans otherwise in need, first apply for assistance. Appointed by the mayors or selectmen of the cities and towns in Massachusetts, the Veterans' Service Officers interview the applicants, determine their eligibility, and file requests for assistance with the Commissioner of Veterans' Services. Veterans' Service Officers are available to anyone seeking information or assistance in the area of veterans' benefits and services. They may be reached at their city/town halls. The support that the Commonwealth gives to a deserving segment of our population through the locally based veterans' assistance programs is unlike that of any other in the nation and the envy of other states.