White’s Landing in Brookfield is supportive of veterans
By Kim Ring August 19, 2019
BROOKFIELD – With an amazing sunset in the background, a handful of veterans, their family members and friends placed a hand over their heart and recited the Pledge of Allegiance alongside the Quaboag River one recent night.
Then they settled in to enjoy a barbecue, talk about upcoming events, fundraisers and how they can best help veterans and first responders through their Lutz Buddy Up social club and Task Force Vet Visits programs.
Patricia Correia, who operates White’s Landing, said she hosts the group to carry on with the mission she and her late husband had: to use their place along the river to help veterans.
“Jim was eight years, Army, and he was so proud of his service, ” Mrs. Correia said. “The veterans stepped up after Jim died. They helped with the building; they put the docks in in the spring and took them out in the fall.”
James Correia died unexpectedly in October 2016 and since then, his wife has worked to carry out their dream at White’s Landing, where folks can rent kayaks and enjoy the beauty of the river.
She envisions more events – a family day is planned for Sept. 14 – and customizing a pontoon boat so that wheelchair users can experience cruises down the river.
The group is designed to offer peer support for veterans. There are no applications, fees or dues. Bonding and sharing among those who have served in the military or who are first responders is the primary mission, while the group also helps others in need.
The Lutz Buddy Up club was founded by a Florida mother whose son, Lance Cpl. Janos V. Lutz, died by suicide after being prescribed numerous medications to treat post-traumatic stress disorder in 2013.
Erin Donovan, operations coordinator for Task Force Vet Visits, said sometimes veterans don’t have money to help one another but they have skills that can be put to use for things like building ramps for handicapped veterans or simply stopping by to visit a vet.
There are groups in other areas of the state, as well. On the third Wednesday of the month they meet at American Legion Post 318 at 180 Greenwood St., Worcester.
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