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Claremont Volunteer to Lead Veterans’ Support Network

Newport — Shannon Carney, of Claremont, has been tapped for a year-long stint coordinating a local support network for veterans.

An AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, Carney will work to strengthen support systems for veterans and help transitioning and retired military personnel access services, such as health care and housing and employment assistance. She will serve Sullivan County, the Upper Valley region and areas to the northeast, including Plymouth, N.H.

Carney will work in conjunction with Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America, the National Guard, and Communities United Regional Network as part of VetCorps, a new program that works to address veterans’ needs. The Newport-based Communities United is an umbrella organization comprising businesses, community organizations, government and law enforcement agencies, and nonprofits. With a focus on drug prevention, its goal is to make the Sullivan County and New London communities stronger and healthier.

Readjusting to community life is difficult for many returning veterans and their families.

Common challenges include mental, physical and substance use disorders and trouble finding jobs and housing. In a recent news release from Communities United, Carney highlighted the importance of supporting veterans.

“Soldiers sacrifice beyond measure to protect the very soil upon which we stand. It is our duty as everyday citizens to ensure they come home to compassionate, understanding arms, and help them to re-establish their life with as much normalcy as humanly possible,” she said. “Our soldiers should not come home and be faced with joblessness, homelessness or hopelessness and feel forced to resort to substances to lighten the load.”

For more information, go to preventionworksnh.org or contact Carney at 603-477-7830 or vetcorps@sullivancountynh.gov. — Staff report