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Murray introduces new website to help vets

Date: 7/18/2012

By G. Michael Dobbs

CHICOPEE — Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray presented the latest effort by the Commonwealth to improve its services to veterans: a new website that helps a vet see what benefits he or she has earned.

Murray made his presentation last week at the Chicopee Senior Center as part of a series of meetings around the state about veterans' issues. Murray is the chair of the Governor's Advisory Council on Veterans' Services.

Murray called the website — — "groundbreaking and the first in the nation."

Lt. Col. Francis McGurn, the chief of staff for Massachusetts National Guard, explained that although the state has a deployment cycle support center in Wellesley for information, not all everyone in the state could easily get there.

"That's why MassVetsAdvisor is so vital," he said.

Maj. Matthew Mutti, from Barnes Air Reserve Base in Westfield, noted that with a growing veterans population the new effort "couldn't be more timely."

Matthew Sullivan of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, which built the website, demonstrated how it works. There are 260 benefits in Massachusetts for which veterans qualify. By answering questions the site narrows down the number of benefits.

Sullivan said the conventional ways to determine benefits "can be difficult, but [the website] is designed to make it easier."

Murray noted that since Sept. 11, 2001, there have been 37,000 new vets in the Commonwealth and that figure doesn't include dependents.