Stars and Stripes stripes.com 27 Dec, 2020 19:15 am

As Holyoke Soldiers’ Home veterans await vaccine, feelings of frustration, isolation linger

As Holyoke Soldiers’ Home veterans await vaccine, feelings of frustration, isolation linger
By mid-June, 76 veterans who tested positive for the virus were dead at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home. 100 or so veterans are isolated, increasingly depressed and anxious, their families say, as the home adheres to strict infection control standards

As Holyoke Soldiers’ Home veterans await vaccine, feelings of frustration, isolation linger Erin Schadel of Holyoke, Mass., right, visits with her father Francis "Skip" Hennessy at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home on Oct.Army veteran settled in at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke in late 2019.But another employee at the Soldiers’ Home told Cheryl Turgeon, a daughter of 90-year-old surviving veteran Dennis Thresher, the wait likely would be a little longer because of supply chain glitches and other challenges.

Death toll aside, one of the most startling developments of the Soldiers’ Home saga was the criminal case built around the leadership’s response to the outbreak.Cheryl Lussier Poppe — who once ran the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home, where there were 30 COVID-19 deaths among 135 long-term care residents, according to state statistics — is the new secretary of Veterans’ Services.

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