Veterans' Services
Meets at Town Hall on the last Wednesday of each month from 2:30-4:00pm or by appointment  

Phone: 413-499-9435

John S. Herrera
Director, Veterans’ Services
City of Pittsfield
70 Allen Street, Room 204
Pittsfield, MA. 01201
O: (413) 499-9435     F: (413) 448-9638

Former Marine / USCG Retired




Hello everyone, I have the unpleasant task of reporting that there have been two more Berkshire County Veterans that recently committed suicide. Thank you for your attention.


We all know the signs; depressed, anxious, agitated, sleeping all the time or not much at all, loss of interest, feelings of guilt, lack of purpose in life and the list goes on and on. Some signals require immediate attention: talk of death, dying, or suicide. Talk of hurting or killing oneself and looking for ways to do so, voicing a plan …


The question is How Do We Help Our Fellow Veterans? The answers are many; awareness, being in the right place at the right time, knowing what to say, knowing what to do and who to call: 911 or (1-800-273-8255 x1) if this happens to be you or someone near you in crisis. Buddy checks worked while we were in the service and they work out here in the civilian world too. Sometimes a person just needs us to listen, a sounding board if you will, other times the act is so spontaneous we are all left in shock.


There are numerous resources such as the two in the subject line, but they don’t work if you or I don’t take the time to stop, listen, observe, or ask the question that needs to be asked; Do you intend to hurt yourself?


The majority of you on this “Blind Copy” are Veterans, some are not, regardless of our status, we all have to watch out for our fellow man/woman.





John S. Herrera
Director, Veterans’ Services
City of Pittsfield
70 Allen Street, Room 204
Pittsfield, MA. 01201
O: (413) 499-9435
F: (413) 448-9638
Former Marine / USCG Retired


Good info for your Vets or yourselves if you get in a mortgage crunch due to lost income.

Take Care, Be Safe, and Spread the Word,



Please take a minute to look at the resources in the links below.  There may be something that could help you during this unusual and unprecedented time. If you have a mortgage and you have lost income, or had a reduction of income, due to the COVID 19 Virus,  Contact your lender right away and get on record.  They will send you paperwork for a Forbearance or Deferment option. After you contact the lender, feel free to call me and I will help to explain things to you.  (508)771-5400 ext 285


Application for Financial Assistance for Small Businesses including sole proprietorships

SBA - Disaster Loan Assistance


Financial assistance for the self- employed and free lancers starts 4/3/2020


Social Security Beneficiaries and the COVID Stimulus payments.   update 4/1/2020


“In addition Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return do not need to take an action, and will receive their payment directly to their bank account,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to generate $1,200 Economic Impact Payments to Social Security recipients who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019. Recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits.


General information on assistance during the COVID 19 crisis:


Who to contact if you have questions about your MA mortgage during  the COVID 19 virus


Who to contact if you are a small business owner who needs financial relief during the COVID 19 virus crisis? Apply online


HUD information and resources for the corona virus pandemic- ( scroll all the way down the page for all  info)


Moratorium on federally backed loans and rentals. Explanation of forbearance attached to this email


MA Unemployment Information – how to apply

Starting in January, about 3 million more service-connected disabled veterans will be able to shop at on-base commissaries and exchanges, known for its tax-free shopping.  Any veteran with a VA disability rating will be able to gain access to their local military bases, according to the Department of Defense.

Veterans with VA disability ratings of zero to 90 percent will be allowed to access on-base exchanges and commissaries, as well as some morale, wellness and recreation – or MWR – facilities.  Those veterans must have a VA-issued Veteran Health Identification Card to have access.

For veterans who will be given entry to bases in January, a surcharge of 5 percent will be added to every purchase with a credit or debit card.  However, veterans may use cash, check or a Military Star card (a part of the Exchange Credit Program) to avoid the fee.

Before the change, only veterans who had a VA disability rating of 100 percent, as well as Medal of Honor recipients, were allowed access to shop on base. Military retirees also have access to shop at any exchange or commissary.

All honorably discharged veterans currently are eligible to shop online at the Army / Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard exchanges. The 5 Percent surcharge does not apply to online Purchases.

Eligible veterans can apply for a Veteran Health Identification Card at or in person by visiting a VA medical facility.

Attention Vietnam era Veterans, this is what many of you have been waiting on. For those affected, you’ll be receiving a letter similar to this in the mail soon. As always, please help spread the word. Click here to read the letter.