Volunteers help transform home of local Vietnam veteran

Wednesday's Statewide "Blue Cross Day of Service" focused on veterans

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Dozens of Blue Cross employees from across Massachusetts spent hours repairing and improving Vietnam veteran Lonnie Chappell’s home on Wednesday.

The Springfield neighborhood group, Revitalize CDC, had recommended the improvements be made at Chappell’s home.

Chappell is a 20-year marine veteran. He has diabetes and suffers from the effects of Agent Orange.

He recalls the shabby treatment of servicemen returning from Vietnam.

“It’d been a long time coming,” Chappell said. “But God bless, I’m so thankful they treated us wrong. I don’t know how many times I thanked God, letting me be here from Vietnam.”

As his wife Mary Chappell watched the Blue Cross volunteers work on their home and upgrade their lawn, she gave thanks to this gesture saluting her husband who had gone through so much.

“There’s no words, absolutely no words how I feel,” Mary told 22News. “Nobody’s ever done this. Just amazing, I can’t thank them enough.”

Wednesday’s Statewide “Blue Cross Day of Service” focused on veterans.

The 40 volunteers who worked on Chappell’s home feel the Vietnam veteran represents everything America stands for.