CADILLAC — The hope is veterans, their families and potential military recruits will be converging on Cadillac from around the region to attend a first-time event.
Although the Northwest Michigan Veterans/Military Expo is new, Wexford County Veterans Services Director Kent Myers and Wexford County Veterans Service Officer Kathy Cline hope it will be an ongoing event that travels to a different part of the region from year to year.
"We wanted to include all the other counties, areas and their resources within those counties to join and share with us what resources are out there," Myers said. "The hope is this will be a traveling event from location to location but if there is not a good turnout it might not happen again. It will be based on veterans and veterans' family interest."
The event, which is scheduled to take place from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Wexford County Civic Arena, has more than 70 exhibitors attending with all of them focused on the needs of veterans and their families. The also will be recruiters from each branch of the Armed Services there for any individuals who might be interested in joining the military.
Cline said the event is geared toward helping veterans and their families but also anyone considering going into the military. She also said this will be like a one-stop-shop for all things veterans and those who require help will find the event beneficial.
"A lot of veterans don't have issued but for those who are having problems and don't know where to go or where to get help, the expo will be a benefit," Cline said.
She also said the exhibitors are from all different areas including healthcare, Veterans Affairs, education and employment. She also said veteran service officers from Clare, Manistee, Mecosta and Osceola counties will be at the event to help those from those areas connect with services.
While it is the first year for the event, Myers said the event can be larger because of a grant from Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. With that money it allowed them to put money into the promotion of the event as well as advertising. They also were able to have a company come in and help to set up the civic arena similar to what it looks like during the annual senior expo.
In addition to the exhibitors, the Cadillac Area Honor Guard will kick off the event at 9 a.m. and at noon the Coast Guard will do a flyover. There also will be breakfast and lunch available.
For more information contact the Wexford County Veterans Services Office at (231) 775-6654 or email to email@example.com.