×

Strength in numbers

  • Volunteers help make a disabled veteran's home more accessible on Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Volunteers help make a disabled veteran's home more accessible on Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Volunteers help make a disabled veteran's home more accessible on Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Volunteers help reconstruct the home of a disabled veteran on Greenfield Road in Peterborough. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Volunteers help reconstruct the home of a disabled veteran on Greenfield Road in Peterborough. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Volunteers help reconstruct the home of a disabled veteran on Greenfield Road in Peterborough. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Volunteers help reconstruct the home of a disabled veteran on Greenfield Road in Peterborough. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Volunteers help reconstruct the home of a disabled veteran on Greenfield Road in Peterborough. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Volunteers help reconstruct the home of a disabled veteran on Greenfield Road in Peterborough. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Volunteers help reconstruct the home of a disabled veteran on Greenfield Road in Peterborough. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Volunteers help reconstruct the home of a disabled veteran on Greenfield Road in Peterborough. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Volunteers help reconstruct the home of a disabled veteran on Greenfield Road in Peterborough. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Volunteers help reconstruct the home of a disabled veteran on Greenfield Road in Peterborough. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Volunteers help reconstruct the home of a disabled veteran on Greenfield Road in Peterborough. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Monadnock Strong is here for veterans in need of a guardian angel. 

A few years ago, Raymond Turner of Peterborough was crossing the street to get his mail. The 50-year-old Peterborough resident is disabled, bound by an oxygen tank, and struggled to cross the street everyday.

On this day, a woman stopped her car to block traffic to help him cross safely.

Her name was Kerry Close, and since then she has dedicated herself to helping the Turners and other veterans in the Monadnock region.

“She’s just doing so much for us,” said Cynthia Turner, Raymond’s wife. “We appreciate what everybody’s done for us.” Cynthia is also house-bound.

Close is the president and CEO of Monadnock Strong, a non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization serving veterans in Peterborough and the rest of the Monadnock region. For the Turners’ Greenfield Road home, they are constructing elevators and ramps to allowed the handicapped couple to get around more easily.

When she was approached by Team Rubicon, a nationwide service organization, and asked if she knew any veterans in need, she immediately asked the Turners.

“I knew they needed some assistance,” she said. “I didn’t know they were homebound.”

Close is a veteran herself, having served in the Army’s intelligence command. She is also a military wife who raised her children while her husband was still overseas. She knows the value of a helping, welcoming community.

Raymond Turner was in the Army, too. He fought in Korea for two years before spending additional time in the reserves. 

The relationship between Close and the Turners covers years before Monadnock Strong turned the Turner house into a construction zone.

She used to get them groceries, or send her kids to do household tasks like the mowing the lawn, something that was done for her when she needed help.

“Those are the types of things that just mean a lot to people,” she said.

With the help of Clark Construction, Matthewson Companies, the American Legion, ConVal’s hockey team and countless other local groups who donated time, expertise and equipment, Monadnock Strong and Team Rubicon set out to make the house more accessible for the Turners. 

Lots of cosmetic work has been done to the house, which needed painting and lawn care. Crews of volunteers also placed a concrete walkway and ramps that will make moving around easier for the disabled couple.

They constructed an outdoor elevator from the lower-level near the driveway to the upper-level near front door, so the Turners can more easily carry things into their home.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s office sent an American flag that had been flown about the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s sent a representative to read a letter to the Turners and volunteers.

Among the helpers was Vietnam-era Navy veteran J. Barry Neas.

A three-year Team Rubicon member and resident of Leominster, Massachusetts, Neas says there is nothing better than the chance to do some good.

He called his motivations selfish because being a part of service projects makes him feel so good.

“I get up every day now with a purpose,” he said. “For me, it’s extra special to help out a veteran.”

Wayne Thomas, commander of American Legion’s Post 5 in Peterborough, of which Close is a member, was there with his wife Dee on day to supply lunch for the workers.

“What Kerry is doing is absolutely fantastic for the veteran and his family,” he said.

“It’s hard to say how great it is what everyone’s done for it,” Cynthia Turner said.

Though the project is touched by numerous volunteers and donors, it all circles around Close.

“She’s got it all so well organized and everyone helping,” Turner said. “Even before all this she was really nice to us, just a nice person.”

Brandon Latham can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or blatham@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @blathamMLT.