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"Homefront Connections" can provide valuable information for area veterans

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Veterans, mark down March 19 on your calendar.

Information about services and benefits offered to vets and their families will be available in abundance that day when the Five Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum holds a Military and Veterans Resource Fair.

Veteran service representatives from Black Hawk County, the University of Northern Iowa, Hawkeye Community College and other groups -- 45 organizations all together -- will be present. Sessions will be offered on a variety of topics of interest to veterans -- including home loans and employment.

Organizers believe it will be the largest gathering of veteran services and activities at one time ever in the Cedar Valley.

“In the Cedar Valley area there’s a lot of different opportunities for veterans and service members, but they’re all in different places,” said Robin Knight, veteran service coordinator at HCC. “This is an opportunity to have it all in one place, and they can come and have an enjoyable experience with their families.”

The Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veteran’s Museum is a perfect place for the event dubbed “Homefront Connections.” It is free and open to all active duty personnel, veterans and their families.

Museum exhibits will be open and lunch will be provided. Family activities also will be offered

“This interests me because we’re bringing it down to the public,” said Terry Scheffert, a Vietnam era vet who operates a veterans career center at AMVETs Post 49 in Cedar Falls. “We’re saying, ‘Here it is guys. Come on in.’”

More information on the fair can be obtained by contacting the Grout district at 234-6357, by email at homefrontconnections@gmdistrict.org or online at www.gmdistrict.org.

The museum itself has been providing an incredible public service by collecting the history of Iowa veterans dating back to the Civil War. Part of that focus has been on interviewing and recording aging veterans, getting oral histories from those who served. That progressed into securing the stories of veterans from current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Exposing that effort to more veterans also could benefit the museum and the community.

When it comes to veterans, Waterloo has a storied past -- led by the five Sullivan brothers who perished together in World War II. We’ve seen our share of heroes from all wars.

All have earned the benefits and services available, and we thank all the organizers of this event for providing “Homefront Connections.”

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