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Military men and women honored at N.H. State Veterans Cemetery

  • U.S. Marine Corps veteran Russell Macedo and his fiancee, Tammy Benoit, both of Tilton, talk about the lack of recognition and services they feel veterans receive following a ceremony at the N.H. State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday. Elizabeth Frantz / Monitor staff

  • Three-year-old Odyn Roehl of Dunbarton gives away flowers to U.S. Marine Corps veteran Rich “Yodad” Swauger (left) of Goffstown and retired firefighter Ron Watson of Fremont. Elizabeth Frantz / Monitor staff

  • Disabled American Veterans Department of New Hampshire Commander Ernie Sulloway (left) and Gov. Chris Sununu lay a wreath during the Veterans Day ceremony at the N.H. State Veterans Cemetery on Saturday. Elizabeth Frantz / Monitor staff

  • U.S. Navy veteran Cy Johnson of Contoocook salutes during the Veterans Day ceremony at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Scenes from the Veterans Day ceremony at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Brig. Gen. David Mikolaities, the New Hampshire National Guard Adjutant General, delivers remarks during the Veterans Day ceremony at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Scenes from the Veterans Day ceremony at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Gov. Chris Sununu delivers remarks during the Veterans Day ceremony at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Scenes from the Veterans Day ceremony at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan delivers remarks during the Veterans Day ceremony at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Scenes from the Veterans Day ceremony at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster delivers remarks during the Veterans Day ceremony at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Scenes from the Veterans Day ceremony at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter delivers remarks during the Veterans Day ceremony at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Scenes from the Veterans Day ceremony at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen delivers remarks during the Veterans Day ceremony at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff



Monitor staff
Saturday, November 11, 2017

Russell Macedo is tired of war.

The former Marine attended the Veterans Day ceremony at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday with a heavy heart.

“I just wish, you know, that things could just be solved. It’s just sad,” he said, shaking his head.

Macedo had stuck around after the ceremony with his fiancée, Tammy Benoit. Her father, a Korean War veteran, was interred there in 2005. Despite blue skies, temperatures had hovered around 30 degrees, and most of the crowd had dispersed quickly after Taps was played.

The military is a big part of Macedo’s life and family. He spent 25 years in the Marine Corps, including during the Gulf War. He followed his grandfather and father into the service, and his son, Doug, is in the Army right now, heading home from Iraq. And when he gets married to Benoit, in Tilton this July, it’ll be a military wedding.

But the cost of armed conflict is never too far from his mind. His own service ended after he was wounded – for the second time.

“It’s pretty bad,” he said of his time in the Marines. “It was brutal seeing a lot of bad things and (I) lost a lot of good friends.”

The sacrifice doesn’t necessarily end, he added, when service men and women return from abroad.

“We get treated like crap when we come back home. And it’s not right. It’s just not right,” he said.

It was Macedo’s first time at the annual ceremony at the Boscawen cemetery, although Benoit has been before.

The event – which this year included remarks from Gov. Chris Sununu, and New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation – provided a small measure some comfort, Macedo said.

“It helps out a little bit,” he said. “But I like seeing people coming home.”

Others on Saturday also spoke about the sacrifice – and pride – that comes with military service.

Debra Laflamme came to the ceremony from Groveton. Her mother and father, Hazel and Robert Paradis, are both buried at the cemetery.

Her father was an Army veteran who served in Korea and World War II. The military and the friends he made there were a big part of his life, and before he died, he was “adamant,” Laflamme said, that he would be buried at the Boscawen site.

“He said he loved his country, he was honored to do it,” she recalled her father telling her about his service. “Sometimes he would say it was sheer hell.”

Todd and Tami Lewis drove up from Methuen, Mass., for the day’s event.

Several of Todd’s family members – he estimated as many as 45 – are in the military, and he belongs to the Warrior Brotherhood, a motorcycle club that doubles as a veterans support organization.

Tami said she often thinks about her niece and nephew, who are training in the Army Reserve, and expect to be deployed in the next two years or so.

“They’re going to be called upon to do some crazy things some day and that makes me scared, but it also makes me proud that they still in this day and age – knowing what they know could happen to them – would still join,” she said.

(Lola Duffort can be reached at 369-3321 or lduffort@cmonitor.com.)