The Rotary Club of Haverhill Thursday honored four local veterans—with collective experience and service ranging from the Vietnam war to recent years—during the club’s Eighth Annual Veterans Awards Breakfast.
The veterans, also well-known for their community service outside of the military, are Doug Dawes, U.S. Air Force; Asa Beckwith Jr., U.S. Marine Corps; David L. Currier, U.S. Air Force and Army National Guard; and Jim Behen, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army.
Their service was recognized by state Veterans Services Secretary Jon Santiago, who delivered the keynote address.
Dawes served in the U.S. Air Force from 1969 to 1973 and is a Vietnam veteran, having served for 22 months in Vietnam as a C-130 crew chief. Closer to home, he is known for taking on various roles over the past 42 years, currently serving as commander of the Georgetown Rene J. Gagnon American Legion Post #211, vice chair of the Community Action board of directors and a Georgetown selectman nine years.
Beckwith served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marines Corps from 1970 to 1975. As a Vietnam veteran, he served on ships that would transport soldiers to and from land and is the recipient of the Vietnam campaign ribbon, Good Conduct ribbon, Rifle Marksman Badge, National Defense Service Medal and Vietnam Service Medal. He is also a lifetime member of Disabled American Veterans and served his community by volunteering at the Bedford and Manchester VA hospitals, giving out scholarships on behalf of the AmVets, and participating in the annual VFW Haverhill Santa parade.
Currier served in the military 32 years, first enlisting in the U.S. Air Force in 1963 and served 17 years before joining the Army National Guard and serving 15 additional years, both at Otis Air Force Base and then Fort Devens. He is a Vietnam veteran and recipient of the National Defense Service Medal, Longevity Award, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, Sharpshooter Ribbon and Army Service Ribbon. Currier retired from the Army in 1995 as a chief warrant officer three. In the community, he has served as the president of the AHEPA-Haverhill Foundation and is a retired Haverhill Police officer, retiring as a sergeant with 38 ½ years of service.
Behen served in the U.S. Marines from 2000 to 2008 and then with the U.S. Army from 2008 to 2014. He was an explosive ordinance disposal technician while in the Marines and combat medic and behavioral health specialist in the Army. Behen now serves as the outreach coordinator for the Veterans Northeast Outreach Center, where he works between multiple organizations and agencies throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire to help low-income and homeless veterans and their families. He also participates in various organizations including the N.H. Patriot Guard riders, who escort fallen veterans and service members to their final resting places.
Haverhill Rotary Club President Timothy J. Jordan welcome the honorees and guests, while Haverhill High School Marine Corps Jr. ROTC presented the colors, Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School’s Lila Combs sang the National Anthem: Lila Combs and Veterans Northeast Outreach Center Executive Director William Kelly provided an update.