Expo brings resources to veterans
Hundreds of veterans and their families attended a Veterans Benefit Expo Friday at the Hodag Dome in Rhinelander. Star Journal photo.
By Eileen Persike
RHINELANDER – For Northwoods veterans, the Hodag Dome was a one-stop shop Friday. A Veterans Benefits Expo featured more than 70 vendors, including Veterans Service Officers from seven counties and one tribal VSO, the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain, Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs and several veterans’ organizations.
It has been four years since this event was held, and the first year at the Hodag Dome. Oneida County VSO Tammy Javenkoski said with the extra space organizers made the event as big as they could to attract vets.
“So many veterans didn’t do things when they were young – you know, they’re young, invincible, they have jobs, and now that they’re getting older and they need more help, maybe financially, maybe physically, it’s just really beneficial for them,” Javenkoski said. “We’ve really tried to think about all our veterans, young and old, native and non-native, LGBTQ, suicide awareness, help for homeless and those in danger of being homeless. I think we really hit it all here.”
Every county in Wisconsin has a Veterans Service Office but, Javenkoski added, with a staff of one or two it is difficult to reach as many vets as they would like, and events such as the expo give them the opportunity for that outreach.
Dave Melancon photos: