Byron Cox Post #72 American Legion hosted and sponsored the annual Veteran’s Expo on Thursday, inviting all area veterans to discover a bounty of services available to them.
“We sponsor this so veterans can see what’s out there for them, and help them take advantage of the opportunities,” Post Commander Rodney Strong said.
Veterans and their spouses had the opportunity to receive flu shots, file claims, ask questions from 22 separate agencies in attendance, and even ask State Sen. Phil Boots and a representative of Sen. Joe Donnelley’s office any questions they might have had.
Organizations such as Sugar Creek Eye Care, Area IV Agency, Work One, Indiana Veteran’s Home, Whitlock House, Red Cross, Salvation Army, Hoosier Heartland State Bank and the Legion, VFW and DAV all fielded questions and provided services to a constant stream of veterans.
“The Blue Star Mothers also prepared a biscuits and gravy breakfast, and are working hard now getting brats, green beans and grilled onions ready for lunch,” Strong said.
Blue Star Mothers President Gayle Sosbe said it was the least they could do for our nation’s heroes.
“We owe our veterans a lot. We’re happy to make them a nice lunch,” said Sosbe, the mother of a Navy veteran and a Marine veteran, both serving in the military during Operation Desert Storm.
Montgomery County Veterans Service Officer Joe Ellis was on hand to discuss the Greater Lafayette Honor Flight, a program which takes veterans on a one-day, all expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., to see their monuments.
“Oh, we’ve had a great turnout. I’ve got four or five more veterans interested in going, and maybe convinced a couple guys to go as guardians,” Ellis said.
One veteran of the Honor Flight, as well as a World War II and Korean War veteran, John Lofland and his wife, Lela, were at the Expo checking out the options available to them.
“The Honor Flight was a wonderful experience. Every veteran should get to do that,” Lofland said, wearing his T-shirt from the trip, flipping through pamphlets from several booths.
First Vice Jonathan Pickett said the annual expo is always a helpful event, for veterans and the Legion.
“We’re always looking for new members,” Pickett said.
The Byron Cox Post #72 American Legion is located at 101 Walter Remley Drive just off of U.S. 231.