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January 26, 2013

Amesbury veterans agent to resign

AMESBURY — Kristen Lucier, Amesbury’s director of Veterans Services, has announced that she will be stepping down from her position next month to take a new job in the federal Department of Veterans Affairs.

Lucier, who has worked in Amesbury for the past five years and is the region’s only female veterans agent, will be moving to a Boston-area VA branch to work as a social worker assisting homeless veterans. She said she got word of the opportunity earlier this week and couldn’t pass it up, but added that leaving is going to be bittersweet.

“It’s tough, Amesbury is such a close knit community and I really feel that the relationships that I’ve developed over the years, people are almost like family,” Lucier said. “The veterans that I’ve come to know, it’s kind of a given that I’ve seen some of their faces every week for the past five years, and it’s going to be hard when that’s no longer the case.”

Lucier’s last day will be Friday, Feb. 15, and Newburyport Veterans Services agent Kevin Hunt will be taking over for her on an interim basis until a permanent replacement can be found. In the meantime, Lucier said there would likely be some discussion over how the Veterans Service office will be set up in the future after she leaves.

“There are people coming together to try and figure out the best way to continue services while also paying attention to the fact that there are greater demands on these offices, with the wars ending and employment still at the rate that it is,” Lucier said. “I think they’re looking to ensure a smooth transition while preparing for future demands.”

Upon learning of her resignation, Mayor Thatcher Kezer heaped praise on Lucier and wished her the best in her future endeavors.

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