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Massachusetts lawmaker, Army reservist, earns promotion

July 5, 2018

FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2014, file photo, Massachusetts state Rep. John Velis, D-Hampden, addresses an audience during a send-off ceremony at Barnes Air National Guard Base, in Westfield, Mass. Veils, currently serving in Afghanistan with the Army Reserves, says he had a Fourth of July he'll remember for the rest of his life. The Republican newspaper reports that Velis announced on Facebook that he was promoted from captain to major on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Don Treeger/The Republican via AP, File)

WESTFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts state legislator currently serving in Afghanistan with the Army Reserves says he had a Fourth of July he’ll remember for the rest of his life.

The Republican newspaper reports that state Rep. John Velis announced on Facebook that he was promoted from captain to major on Wednesday.

The Westfield Democrat called his promotion “truly an amazing experience.”

He also wrote he missed his family and friends and signed off with “God Bless America!”

The 39-year-old Velis has been in the Army since 2011 and was first elected to the House in 2014.

He deployed in June and is expected to be away six to seven months. He served one previous tour in Afghanistan and has also served in South Korea.

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