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Candidate's wife offers thanks to Veterans Home residents

Anita Perry, wife of Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, made several stops in the Lakes Region last Friday on behalf of her husband, who is a Republican candidate for president in the upcoming 2012 Primary. While touring the New Hampshire Veterans Home, Perry stopped to shake hands with WWII veteran John “Speedy” MacLeod and thank him for his service. (Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
November 09, 2011
TILTON — With her soft southern drawl and bright, engaging smile, Anita Perry, wife of Texas governor and Republican Presidential candidate Rick Perry, greeted everyone she met as she arrived at the New Hampshire Veterans Home for a visit last week.

Perry said she was interested in seeing what the state facility offered its residents, but also took time to assure administrators of her husband's support for veterans.

"Veterans are very important to Rick and I," she told Commandant Barry Conway during a brief private reception. "Rick's a veteran, my dad's a World War II vet, and so is Rick's dad."

One of those present for her visit was state Rep. Al Baldasaro, the chairman for the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. He thanked her for the support, and told her that her husband's extensive work for veterans in Texas is "the wind beneath our wings."

A member of the Perry staff agreed, and told the commandant and state representatives that Gov. Perry's compassion is sincere.

"It comes from his heart to care for veterans, not a teleprompter," said Jim Adams, a Veterans Coordinator for the Perry campaign.

Mrs. Perry herself was a nurse, and she assured the representatives that she also takes a real interest in the quality of healthcare provided to those who fought for the nation, and that interest would carry over to the White House should her husband be elected president.

She then moved on to address a crowd of residents and staff who gathered in the dining hall to meet her, starting off by thanking them all for their service.

"My father was a pilot in the Pacific off Guam, and he would be so happy to be here with you all. Rick's dad was a tail gunner out of England, too. It's important to us that we care for our veterans," she said.

With wars and conflicts still occurring around the globe, Perry said in the future, it will become even more important to have "wonderful places like this one" for soldiers returning home.

She then moved from table to table around the room to greet each veteran personally and shake their hand.

Henry Fournier was asked by Perry about life at NHVH. He told her the staff was excellent and provided great care.

"They keep us busy all day long," Fournier said.

Upon meeting Roland Guay and hearing from staff members that he had served as a translator for Charles de Gaulle and Winston Churchill during WWII, the First Lady was impressed. Guay simply shrugged, and said it was "nothing" as far as he was concerned. As she paused to speak with each man or woman, she was met with the same humble demeanor as she shook their hand and said, "Thank you for your service."

After a 45-minute tour of the facility by Director of Resident Care Ann Howe, Perry then said her goodbyes as she prepared to leave for her next stop to meet with State Senator Jeanie Forrester in Meredith.

"It's wonderful here, and good to know people have such a place to care for them like this one. Thank you for all you're doing for our veterans," she said.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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