Hundreds of military veterans expected to attend Veterans Moving Forward event at Wright State on May 24

Hundreds of military veterans are expected to attend a May 24 event hosted by Wright State University designed to improve support of veterans by connecting them with resources, service providers and advocates.

Veterans Moving Forward, an event sponsored by the Greater Miami Valley myVeteran Community Engagement Board, will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Apollo Room of Wright State’s Student Union.

Veterans and their families as well as all veterans service organizations in the region are encouraged to attend.

“Last year at our inaugural Veterans Moving Forward event, we had 75 veterans services organizations and over 200 veterans in attendance,” said Cassie Barlow, executive director of the Wright State University Aerospace Professional Development Center and former commander at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. “There were some great connections made on that day.”

About 100 veterans service organizations are expected to be on hand to connect with veterans at the event. The Dayton VA Medical Center’s mobile clinic will be at the event, and hearing aid checks will also be made available by the VA.

Alexis Gomez, a Wright State graduate who gained fame as a contestant on television’s “American Idol,” will sing the National Anthem. Ms. Ohio will be on hand to interact with veterans and autograph photos. Panera Bread will provide free meals.

The Montgomery County RTA and Green CATS will offer free transportation to and from the university for the event. Veterans should show identification, a DD 214, or pick up a token at the VA Medical Center.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs selected the Miami Valley as one of 50 communities across the nation to create a myVeteran Community Engagement Board. The regional board was organized in 2015 by Barlow and retired Air Force Lt. Col. John McCance.

Wright State serves about 700 veterans or military-connected students — service members, Guard and Reserve members and military dependents. The university offers an array of resources to help those students transition to campus.

In 2016, Wright State established a special $100,000 scholarship fund designed to help members of the Ohio National Guard attend graduate school in what is believed to be the first program of its kind in the state.

In 2014, Wright State opened the Veteran and Military Center, a 4,500-square-foot area designed to provide a welcoming space on campus for veteran and military students.

Wright State has been named a Top Military-Friendly University by Military Advanced Education and included on the G.I. Jobs Military Friendly Schools list.

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