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NH trooper spearheads collection for war vets

Trooper First Class Steve Cooper, himself a veteran, raises money for the New Hampshire Veterans Home

The Manchester Union Leader

TILTON, N.H. — New Hampshire State Trooper First Class Steve Cooper is a veteran, and he wanted to give back to his fellow veterans.

"Veterans are the unsung heroes of our country, and we need to do all we can for them," said Cooper, who served from 1988 to 1993 in the Army's Airborne Infantry.

In 2008, Cooper called the New Hampshire Veterans Home and asked if they'd mind if he took up a small collection at work. The veterans home was delighted. Cooper asked co-workers at the Department of Safety's Division of State Police for donations of $5 "or whatever they wanted to give."

He returned to the veterans home with a check for $1,120 for the Resident Benefit Fund, which is used for programs and activities that directly benefit NHVH residents.

Cooper returned again last December with more than $1,500. Donations also came in from family members and friends.

Cooper said, "I want to thank the entire staff at the New Hampshire Veterans Home for your commitment on a daily basis in caring for our veterans. Folks like you should be recognized for your kindness and selflessness. I hope this donation to the Resident Benefit Fund will bring joy and happiness to those brave men and women that ask nothing in return for their service to this great country of ours."

NHVH Commandant Barry Conway was touched by Cooper's action. He said, "It's one thing to think nice thoughts about an organization, but a whole lot more to come up with a gift of over $1,500. We are grateful to Steve, his co-workers, family members and friends. This is a tough economy, and gifts are doubly appreciated."

Copyright 2010 Union Leader Corp.

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