More than 200 veterans attend a benefit fair in Cheboygan

CHEBOYGAN — On Thursday, the Cheboygan County Veterans Services Office, in partnership with the Michigan Veterans Agency, hosted a Veterans Benefits Fair at the Cheboygan Eagles Club.

The event is designed to showcase local and regional resources for veterans.

“We had about 200 people there,” said Sara Cunningham, a veterans services officer for Cheboygan County. “There were 30 vendors or organizations there, with 41 representatives from those organizations and others, as well as 11 volunteers helping out.”

After:The Veterans Benefits Fair is coming to Cheboygan on August 11

Cunningham said the event was a great success, especially with the high turnout. Prior to the benefit fair, organizers were unsure what kind of turnout to expect since the event was scheduled to take place during county fair week.

“Our fair was great. We stayed busy the whole time,” said Cheboygan County Veterans Services Officer Brian Crittenden. “Hopefully we have reached a lot of people who didn’t know the services were available to them.”

Representatives from the Cheboygan County Veterans Services Office, including Veterans Services Officer Brian Crittenden (left), had tables set up at the benefits fair to outline the services the county office provides local veterans.

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The goal of the event was to connect veterans not just in Cheboygan County, but across the region, with housing, health care, education, and nonprofit resources. It was the first time the event had been held in two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sarah Battice, volunteer services coordinator at McLaren Health Management Group, was among more than 30 vendors who set up tables at the 2022 Veterans Benefits Fair on Thursday.

These resources included the Disabled American Veterans Office, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Military OneSource, Habitat for Humanity and Restore, Mission Six Service Dogs, Hospice of Michigan, Michigan Works, and many others. Several county Veterans Services offices were also available to help veterans with their issues.

After:Veterans Benefits Fair attracts over 100 people

Veterans were also able to get copies of their retrieved and printed DD-214 discharge documents. They could also get answers to their questions about filing disability claims and other documents through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Several vendors had tables set up at the Veterans Benefits Fair to showcase employment opportunities available to local veterans if they were looking for work, including Coca-Cola Bottling.

“I’ve met a lot of veterans and people with resources to help veterans. I want to thank them all,” Crittenden said. “If they couldn’t come to the fair, they can come to our office or call us. We’re here to help all veterans.”

Any Cheboygan County veteran in need of any assistance is encouraged to contact the Cheboygan County Veterans Services Office by calling (231) 627-8883 or emailing [email protected] .net or [email protected]

Contact journalist Kortny Hahn at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @khahnCDT.

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