Family Members Respond To Charges In Holyoke Soldiers' Home Deaths

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Family members of 76 veterans who died in a COVID-19 outbreak at Holyoke Soldiers Home have released a statement after charges were announced in connection with their relatives' deaths.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said Friday a Grand Jury had returned multiple federal indictments against the Soldiers' Home's former Superintendent Bennett Walsh, and the former Medical Director David Clinton. Each defendant is facing ten counts total; five charges of criminal neglect, and five charges of serious bodily injury.

In a joint statement released hours later, dozens of the veterans' family members said they had been briefed on the charges, and they will be closely following the progress of the court proceedings.

Read More: Two Holyoke Soldiers Home Leaders Charged After 76 Veteran Deaths

“This is another event that brings up some very difficult memories for all of us, and today's announcement causes each of us to pause and reflect on what happened to our loved ones," the coalition said. “We now want our state to move forward and do the right thing to ensure this never happens again to any other Veteran."

“Our Veterans and senior citizens deserve the greatest respect and should always receive care with the greatest honor and dignity as is the mission of our state for the Soldiers' Home," the coalition of family members continued.

"We now hope that justice will prevail and that the state builds a new Home in Holyoke as a lasting memorial to all those who have died. We will remain active in our community in ensuring all current and future Veterans get the best care they have earned."

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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