Veterans remembered, supported in State House events Monday

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — On the same day the state kicked off of an annual event in remembrance of United States military veterans and their families, Rhode Island’s governor launched a new program Monday to smooth the way for both veterans and families to find care resources they need.

Shortly after noon, following a ceremony in the State House rotunda, there was a wreath laying in the Garden of Heroes as part of the annual Wreaths Across America week of events. Rhode Island state leadership has taken part in the event for several years, and the Rhode Island Funeral Directors Association took an active role in organizing Monday’s event.

The Wreaths Across America organization is committed to remembering the lives of those who have served. As “a small act of thanks,” volunteers lay thousands of wreaths at veterans’ graves across the country to keep their memories alive. Participants laid nearly a million wreaths in 2015 alone.

About an hour before Monday’s ceremony, Gov. Gina Raimondo announced the launch of a program called “RIServes,” a network of care for veterans and their families that encompasses more than 35 community agencies and providers. The network is part of a national initiative called AmericaServes, which was initiated by the Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families.

When veterans need housing, education, job training, healthcare or legal or financial counseling, they’ll be able to go to an online portal, RIServes.org, to find providers as well as connect with a national community of veterans.

Monday’s wreath-laying followed a planting of hundreds of American flags in Glocester on Route 102 on Sunday.