Veterans honored at Vets Rock expo, concert at Mohegan Sun


UNCASVILLE, Conn. (WTNH)– On this veterans day, hundreds of vets gathered at Mohegan Sun’s convention center to get help with healthcare, housing, jobs and more. It’s called “Vets Rock” and News 8 is a proud sponsor.

As soon as you walk into Vets Rock, you are immediately surrounded by people looking to help veterans. There are things to help the mind, body, spirit, and wallet. In fact, half of the room is dedicated to getting unemployed veterans jobs.Veterans are disciplined, punctual and hard workers. That’s why employers are lining up to hire them.

“We have companies here that have military recruiters,” said Cara Lustig of Hiring Our Heroes. “They know how to speak the jargon, they know the lingo. They are here to hire, that’s their mission.”

While they are at Mohegan Sun, vets can get fitted for a different kind of uniform for that new job. A charity can provide suits, ties, and shoes. That’s just one of the services offered at Vets Rock. All of this is thanks to Til Duty is Done, a group that helps vets adjust to civilian life. It’s led by Justin Nash, a vet himself.

“You come from a life that is very structured and organized to one that is very fragmented and really not well defined,” Nash explained.

Raymond Hayes knows what that is like. He had a tough time adjusting when he got home from his years as a radioman in the 82nd Airborne in Vietnam.

“Everybody who comes home immediately withdraws from society,” said Hayes. “They realize they don’t fit. They realize they’re having a problem.”

He now runs the group “” which takes vets out sailing. Hoisting the sails and being on the water is calming enough to let veterans open up and let their feelings out.

“They relax enough to think and talk for a few minutes and it works,” Hayes explained. “It does work.”

All of this is going on until 5 today. Hundreds of veterans have pre-registered, but you can still walk in and take advantage of all the services offered.

News 8’s Kent Pierce was there with a look at all the services in the videos.

And check out the full list of the scheduled events below:

Hiring Our Heroes Workshop
9:00am -10:30am
1:00pm – 2:30pm
Ballroom B
A training class to prepare veterans and spouses for the fair and including a resume workshop and interview prep.

Hiring Our Heroes Career Fair
10:30am – 5:00pm
Ballroom B

Suiting Warriors Professional Attire Fitting
10:30am – 5:00pm
Ballroom B
An organization that will bring 15 – 20 garment racks to fit as many vets with professional attire as possible.

Veteran Service Organization Conference
Ballroom A

Contractor Diversity Summit

Mindfulness Classes
11:00am – 5:00pm
Upper Convention Center

Art Therapy Class
1:00pm – 3:00pm
Upper Convention Center

Yoga Class
11:00am – 5:00pm
Upper Convention Center
Every hour on the hour; each class is 45 minutes long.

Music Therapy Class
11:00am – 12:30pm
Upper Convention Center
Every other hour; each class is 1.5 hours long.

Resume Specialists
11:00am – 5:00pm, as needed
Upper Convention Center

Massage Therapy
11:00am – 5:00pm, by appointment
Upper Convention Center

Veteran Art Show/Auction
9:00am – 6:00pm
The Shops at Mohegan Sun
Headlined by custom piece by John Herz. Veteran produced art to be displayed and auctioned at identified locations.

Vets Rock Concert
Mohegan Sun Arena
Hosted by Tony Orlando and headlined by Trace Adkins with special guest Madison Rising plus a short Acoustic set by Dropkick Murphys.


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