News Stories

‘iPod’s For Vets’ Says Thanks To Local Heroes

Veterans Service Officers Chris Hanafin of Burlington and Bob Davis of Woburn teamed up with “iPods for Wounded Veterans” for an afternoon that brought music and joy to some 80 veterans at the American Legion Hall on Winn Street.

Hanafin was called out of town and could not make the event, but his fingerprints were all over it.

“Chris Hanafin and Bob Davis both got the ball rolling and it was fabulous,” said Jennifer Goldsmith, administrative assistant of veterans affairs for Burlington. “It was a great show of appreciation to the veterans.”

Although iPods have been officially discontinued, the Wilmington-based nonprofit still delivers electronics such as Bose headphones, Amazon Fire Sticks and tablets, and laptops donated through grants and donations. One veteran from Burlington won a 55-inch television that was donated by a family.

In all, an estimated 40 veterans from Burlington and 40 from Woburn filled the hall together with a slew of guests and enthusiastic volunteers. They all enjoyed food provided by Newtowne Grille and Pizza Works.

Erland Construction of Burlington provided funds towards the event and helped serve food, and Mike Espejo was invited to represent the Select Board.

“I thought this was great, I’ve never heard of this organization before,” Espejo said. “It was great to see all the things they do for veterans. It’s nice to pay tribute to the true heroes.”

One of them, he said, was a 102-year-old veteran who had survived Pearl Harbor.

“It was really nice to say hello and say thank you,” Espejo said.

According to the organization’s mission statement, iPods for Wounded Veterans was founded by U.S.Military Veterans in 2011.

When Chairman Paul Cardello and John Parker, the nonprofit’s veterans liaison officer, learned that wounded veterans recovering in military hospitals wanted one thing to make their days brighter — music — they immediately began putting together a collection of iPods.