Providence VA honors 3 for work on behalf of veterans

The Providence VA Regional Office presented awards to Lindsay Amherst, Chuck O'Connor and Staff Sgt. John Roias, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. (WJAR)

The Providence VA Regional Office on Tuesday acknowledged the hard work of three individuals who have one common goal.

"Everyone here that we're recognizing today is fiercely committed to veteran service," said E.J. McQuade, director of the Providence VA Regional Office.

Staff Sgt. John Roias received the Civilian Service Member of the Year Award.

Roias joined the Rhode Island Air National Guard six years ago. When he's not serving in the guard, he's an accountant with CVS.

Three years ago, he helped found a nonprofit called Hungry Friday that feeds the hungry, including homeless veterans.

"It's very heartbreaking. Anyone who serves this country shouldn't be homeless," said Roias.

A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Chuck O'Connor, an Army veteran who, after serving his country, focused on serving brothers and sisters in arms.

"For the last 13 years, I've been working with veterans, service members, military retirees, and especially families," O'Connor said.

The Regional VA Office also honored one of its own, Lindsay Amherst. The Marine veteran was named Employee of the Year.

"I work the military sexual trauma claims, which is an extremely important topic right now with the current climate with the #MeToo movement," Amherst said.

"I think they're setting a tremendous example, not only for our workforce, but for those that are considering serving, for those that are currently serving, and for those that have served," McQuade said.

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