Meeting to Focus on Veterans’ Challenges

Quechee — Vital Communities’ second annual Heroes and Leaders celebration is set for May 7 at the Quechee Club.

It will open at 4 p.m. with a free Town Hall meeting, followed by a book signing and dinner.

The meeting, which includes a panel and public discussion, will focus on the challenges faced by veterans returning to the Upper Valley, and possible solutions. Leadership Upper Valley, a program of Vital Communities, is hosting the event.

It “will encourage residents to support area veterans by understanding their issues and being inspired by others in the community who are already taking an active role,” Stacey Glazer, Leadership Upper Valley program manager, said in a recent news release.

Panelists include Maj. Christina Fanitzi, a Tuck student and member of the U.S. Army, and Capt. Stoney Portis, a West Point graduate and Iraq war veteran. Portis is pursuing a master’s degree in liberal studies at Dartmouth College.

Col. Jim Geiling MD, from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction.; Dr. Dan Tobin, of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Albany, N.Y.; and James Sturm, cofounder and director of The Center for Cartoon Studies, will also speak on the panel.

The moderator will be Dr. Joseph O’Donnell, professor of medicine and psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and senior scholar, C. Everett Koop Institute.

A reception and dinner will follow at 5:30 p.m., with special guests James Wright, former Dartmouth College president, and Deborah Amdur, director of the White River Junction VA.

The cost is $80, or $50 for alumni of Leadership Upper Valley. Proceeds will benefit the Leadership Upper Valley program. For more information and reservations, call 802-291-9100, ext. 102, or go to www.vital communities.org/leadershipuv/.

Wright will be available at 5 p.m. to sign his book, Those Who Have Borne The Battle: A History of America’s Wars and Those Who Fought Them. Authors Matt Friedman and Laurie Slone will sign their book, After the War Zone: A Practical Guide for Returning Troops and Their Families.
— Staff report