Dna. Maria St. Catherine McConnell
No Place to Call Home at Their State Veterans Home. Chelsea Soldiers Home (CSH) Residents, John and Maria McConnell, the first married veteran couple to meet at, to marry, and then to continue to live in the Home’s Domiciliary after their marriage, were forced to live inhumanely in separate CSH male/female dormitories and in separate CSH buildings without visitation rights, and to use Soldiers Home public lounges as their living room, as pictured here, throughout their short 4.5 years of marriage living at the Home, even while several CSH rooms remained unused, and even after the spouse, disabled USMC veteran John McConnell, had suffered a massive heart attack. After being thoroughly advised about this inhumane situation the CSH Superintendent, the CSH Trustees and the MA DVS failed to end the Home’s crime against humanity of marital apartheid forced upon the McConnell’s at the Home even when the Home’s 1877 founding statute established the Home for “soldiers and sailors and …their families.”
Now, Maria McConnell, a Veterans Affairs Advocacy Professional-at-Large, and now also a veteran widow, has asked Congressman Michael Capuano’s Office (D-MA) to schedule an Emergency State Legislative Oversight Meeting, lead by the MA Joint Committee on Veterans & Federal Affairs and State Legislators, at the Chelsea Soldiers Home on November 21, 22 and 23 of 2017. McConnell wants CSH Domiciliary Residents, a diverse group of MA veteran-voters and tax-payers, including veterans with Harvard and Oxford University graduate credentials, to have their first opportunity to tell State Legislators, face-to-face, in a meeting closed to CSH management, about the many abuses and inhumanities they have suffered at the Home. McConnell urges the Baker-Polito team and State Legislators to remove MA DVS Secretary Francisco Urena, CSH Superintendent Cheryl Poppe and all CSH Trustees from office.
McConnell, a two-time CSH Residents Council member, says Residents no longer have confidence in the Urena/Poppe team as they have betrayed the Baker-Polito commitment of good governance to Commonwealth veterans by gross mismanagement and egregious violations of the civil, human and constitutional rights of CSH Domiciliary Residents of which the McConnell tragedy is just another egregious example.