Williams Retires After A Decade As Voice For Tewksbury Veterans
Tewksbury Veterans Agent Jim Williams on the job, helping a veteran in need.
Gallery: Veterans Agent Jim Williams [3 Images] Click any image to expand.
Jim Williams has less than three hours to go before officially retiring as Tewksbury's Veterans Agent. But there is no farewell party being thrown in his office at the Senior Center. No cake. Not even a few balloons.
Time is winding down and Jim Williams still has work to do and people to help.
A visitor stops by to wish Williams well in his retirement. But there is little time to chat. Williams is on the phone trying to locate a bed at a shelter for a local homeless veteran. The vet stops by the office shortly after for an update. Fifteen minutes later, another person in need of assistance. This time it's the wife of a soldier.
There's less than three hours left and there is still work to do and people to help.
For more than a decade, Williams was the voice for Tewksbury veterans. He provided assistance finding jobs and housing, as well as medical care and other benefits.
Town Manager Richard Montuori is working through the application and interview process to name a new veterans agent. But he and members of the Board of Selectmen know that finding a "replacement" will be close to impossible.
"Serving our veterans has taken on more significance in the last few years and Jim was always there to try to help with their needs," said Board Chairman Todd Johnson. "In addition, he was an enthusiastic supporter of town events recognizing the service and sacrifice of our veterans during Memorial Day and Veterans Day. He retires having served many in a positive way."
Williams says retirement will give him the chance to spend more time with his family. He and his wife have four children and seven grandchildren. But he also said retirement won't diminish his desire to help fellow veterans.
"I'll be doing some volunteering at the VA. I have a friend who works down at the Bedford facility who wants me to volunteer down there," he said. "He also wants me to play some golf ... which I haven't done in about 10 years."
It's 2:30 p.m. Only about two hours to go. Jim Williams has some phone calls he needs to make.