Stephen Travers, the veterans agent for North Attleborough, Plainville and Wrentham since 2022, is retiring.
During a Town Council meeting on Jan. 22, Town Manager Michael Borg announced Travers would be stepping down from his duties at the end of this month. Borg said the town has yet to hire a new veterans agent and encouraged those interested to apply. The position has been posted internally.
Travers, 60, said his decision to retire was to spend more time with his family and 10 grandchildren. He said his decision was of his own volition and was not based on internal working conditions or pay.
“The decision was a tough call, and it was a strictly personal decision to make,” Travers said. “After accomplishing all that I have done here, however, I felt like it was time to retire.”
A resident of North Attleborough, Travers became the town’s veterans agent in 2022 after Rebecca Jennings resigned from the position. Before this, Travers served in the U.S. Army for more than 30 years and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2003 during the War on Terror.
A personal achievement for Travers during his tenure as a veterans agent was the creation of a monument dedicated to those who served in the War on Terror. Installed in Barrows Park in November 2023, the monument began as an idea by the town’s Veterans Advisory Board. The original proposal was put aside during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, but fundraising resumed in 2022. Travers hosted a ceremony at the town hall on Jan. 20 to officially recognize the monument.
“I was on the board, and we got it started,” Travers said. “To see it completed is a big achievement for the town and veterans.”
Another achievement Travers expressed pride in was bestowing the title of Purple Heart Town to North Attleborough, Wrentham and Plainville. Travers held a special event on Nov. 3, 2023, where he unveiled a sign on Kelley Boulevard that recognized soldiers who have received Purple Hearts, the military decoration awarded to those wounded or killed in service. The Town Council officially declared North Attleborough a Purple Heart community by a resolution passed in August of that year.
“We managed to make all three communities Purple Heart towns,” Travers said. “I was especially pleased with how it came to be.”
Travers said he was honored that he helped veterans by providing state aid and holding holiday events dedicated to those who served.
Travers said he would still volunteer and help with other veteran-related projects, such as the rebuilding of the VFW Post 443. He said the site grounds must be cleared of debris and the interior repainted. According to Travers, the goal is to turn the post into an inviting area for veterans and families to spend their day engaging in activities on the grounds or by Falls Pond.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Travers said. “I live here in North Attleborough and I’ll still be helping and supporting veterans.”
Travers said it was bittersweet to retire from his position but that he never intended to stay on for a long time. As for who his successor will be, Travers said they will have his support.
“The work I have done has been rewarding,” Travers said. “Whoever walks into this position, they will have a smooth transition, just like I did.”