“This will be a super fun event for the whole family,” Michelle Gatz, Yellow Medicine County Veteran Service Officer said as excitement and energy flowed through her voice. The excitement was for a very unique opportunity for veterans, their families, friends and anyone interested in getting to know more about what benefits are available for all those who have served.
“It’s more than just about benefits, it’s more than an opportunity to attend seminars, and it’s more than just a job fair. It is a celebration, “Gatz shared.
The celebration will be held on Saturday, July 21 at the Lyon County Fairgrounds in Marshall. “The Marshall site was chosen because of the buildings and locations on the fairgrounds to house all the seminars, booths and the special activities for the kids.” Veterans will be able to sharpen their job search skills including: doing job searches, resumes, learning interviewing tips, and getting legal assistance.
There will be free seminars each hour on topics like personal and family budgets, signs and symptoms of depression, VA home loans, and developing a business website.
Many partners will be on hand: Veterans 4 Veterans, local veteran organizations, Heroes Hired, Military Family Assistance and the local Yellow Ribbon chapter.
The day long activities are funded in part by a grant from Veterans 4 Veterans. “We are hoping to reach all veterans from all eras in over a hundred mile radius. This will be an opportunity to get together to get answers to questions and enjoy a day out with the entire family, “ said Gatz. Special activities for the kids include face painting, pony rides, petting zoo, Whopper Hopper and the ever popular rock climbing wall for kids of all ages. The kid’s events will continue throughout the day until 4:30 p.m.
The event registration begins at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m. the exhibits open, at 4 p.m. there will be a special seminar presented by the Wounded Warrior Project and at 5 p.m. the Marshall Chamber of Commerce will host Business After Hours; an opportunity to enjoy food and beverages while networking with others.
A special grandstand show featuring the Walking Phoenixes will begin at 7:00 p.m. The concert opens with the band Screaming Cactus. The feature band, The Walking Phoenixes, a California-based band, will perform a tribute to Johnny Cash. All veterans will be admitted to the grandstand show for free. There will be a $10 charge for non-veterans.
“This is a great way to salute our service members and their families,” Gatz said.
The Mobile Audiology Clinic will make its debut at the “For all who have served” event in Marshall Saturday, July 21. The van is staffed with an audiologist and an audiology technician. The double-walled audio booth allows the audiologist to perform complete hearing evaluations, hearing aid fittings cleaning and adjustments. All of the equipment is state-of-the-art. The clinic helps fill a critical need for Veterans. The mobile clinic was funded by a grant from VHA’s Office of Rural Health.
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In addition, a 5-6 person team will be on hand who will be able to handle eligibility issues and initiate 1010EZ forms for enrollment in to the VA. They will answer questions about VHA programs and St. Cloud VA specific programs as well as conduct health and wellness screenings on site. Veterans are asked to have a copy of their DD form 214 with them to participate in the screenings.