SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – More than 1,000 western Massachusetts veterans had a place to turn to for a variety of needs Thursday.
If the vets were looking for a job, 40 companies were hiring at the MassMutual Center Veterans Expo.
Others found help with financial planning or continuing their education.
Vietnam Vet Ted Chokas came to ensure he’ll stay healthy this winter. “I’m going to walk out of here healthy, I got my flu shot, my pneumonia shot, I got the care I need and they were thankful for what I did for the service.”
You might be surprised at the range of services provided by the Veterans Expo, to meet the needs of those who fought for our country. Springfield veteran Luis Agudello said, “I came here to insulate my house. We need help. I pay too much for oil. There’s so many vendor services here, definitely, there’s a lot of help.”
From advice covering veterans’ benefits to workshops on military culture, veterans could spend the day learning something of value.
Marine veteran Ana Pastrana said, “I have a shopping list of needs, and the Red Cross has shared the information, because a hurricane is coming and we have to have the information that we’ll need.”
There will also be an ever-increasing slate for services for women. The 2-percent of women in the military during the Vietnam era has grown substantially, to where women now comprise 14-percent of America’s military.