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W&M hosts 'WarriorConnect' veterans benefits fair

As we look toward Memorial Day, we are reminded of our veterans and the tremendous sacrifices they have made for our country.  Yet, veterans who have served our country with pride often feel frustrated finding help with issues such as re-employment after deployment, disability benefits, finances, support groups, or medical care.

“WarriorConnect,” sponsored by William & Mary Law School’s Veterans Benefits Clinic in partnership with the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program, is a free one-day, one-stop resource fair where representatives from more than 70 organizations will be on hand to assist veterans of all ages and their families. The event will be held on Saturday, May 22, from 10am to 2pm in the Brinkely Commons Room at the William & Mary Mason School of Business on 101 Ukrop Way in Williamsburg. Pre-registration is not required and all are welcome.

“The resource fair is the first-of its kind on the Peninsula and is our way of giving back to veterans,” said Professor Stacey-Rae Simcox, managing attorney of William & Mary Law School’s Veterans Benefits Clinic and a 1999 graduate of the Law School. “We are proud to be bringing together such a diverse group of resources and organizations under one roof for those deserving women and men who served our country but may feel lost in the process of finding help.”

As a former JAG Officer, Simcox knows that her fellow vets often feel bounced from one government office to another when they leave active duty and are seeking benefits or information.  “WarriorConnect,” she said, was designed to destroy the information barriers.  Simcox believes this event will be extremely helpful to Veterans of OIF/OEF, World War II, peacetime, and everything in between.  “Too often our Iraq and Afghanistan veterans hear the word ‘veteran’ and think that the information is geared toward the generations that served before.  There will be information here for our most recent vets too, including OIF/OEF specific support groups, employment preference information, VA medical center enrollment guidance, and disability benefit seminars.”

Catherine Wilson, Director of the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program, agreed that “WarriorConnect” is truly a unique event on the Peninsula that expands services beyond the veteran.   “One of the most important aspects of this event is that there will be resources available for family members as well - -support groups, information on survivor benefits, retirement community information, assisted living representatives, and resources for children of veterans.  Taking care of the whole veteran includes taking care of those who love and support them.”

For more information and a continuously updated list of participants and presentations, please visit the clinic's website.

This event is made possible by a generous grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.

Information, Education, and Services for Veterans and their Families
“Virginia’s Veterans. Virginia’s Resources. Make the Connection.”