A veteran helping veterans every chance he gets
Since becoming a veteran himself, Wareham’s James Morrissey has wanted nothing more than to help other veterans.
As state commander for the Massachusetts department for Veterans of Foreign Wars and now a sworn in member of the governor's new veterans advisory council, he has been able to do just that.
Morrissey served in the Navy for 10 years in active duty. His assignments included the USS Macdonough, NAWS Pt. Mugu and the USS Independence. He highlighted how he worked in the Persian Gulf as well as Japan.
He said he loved being in Japan as he enjoys traveling and seeing the sights.
Morrissey earned two Navy Expeditionary Medals and a Southwest Service Medal, making him eligible for membership with the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization, according to the VFW website.
He also received two good conduct medals, three Sea Service Ribbons and two National Defense Service Medals.
VFW is a non-profit service organization aimed at helping veterans secure rights and benefits.
Morrissey has been a life member of the VFW Post 3264 in Mansfield, but he now serves as state commander of the VFW Department, where he oversees all the VFW posts in the state.
In this role, which he started at in June, Morrissey and his team will go before the federal and state government to get bills benefiting veterans passed.
He has recently been working on one known as “S. 1882” on the state level. If passed, this bill would provide property tax exemptions for combat disabled veterans over the age of 65.
Morrissey said the team has also been working on getting a bill passed that would protect veterans’ disability claims, which lawyers have been trying to take 40% of.
As state commander, he gets to focus on a project. His project is focused on the Medic Now Foundation in Plymouth.
Morrissey explained if a veteran or their dependent has a medical bill that their insurance won’t cover completely, the foundation will step in and help pay the difference.
And now, Morrissey has the opportunity to serve on a new council aimed at advising the governor on all matters related to veterans.
Gov. Maura Healey signed an executive order in May reestablishing the Governor’s Advisory Council on Veterans Services. Morrissey is one of the 31 veterans who will serve on the council.
Although he does not have all the details of what he will be doing, he said he is looking forward to having a new way to help veterans.