Veterans Expo attracts large crowd


Exhibitors and volunteers kept busy Thursday at the annual Montgomery County Veterans Expo held at the Byron Cox American Legion Post 72.

“We  have had a great turnout,” said Mike Spencer, third vice commander and event organizer.

He believes that as the community moves past the pandemic more veterans seemed ready to return to the event and reconnect with the 22 organizations represented there.

Montgomery County Veterans Service Officer Joe Ellis visited with several veterans who were looking for information.

“It was a nice turnout and it was good to see the veterans again,” Ellis said. “Several of the guys who I have helped just stopped at the table to say hello. It is nice to see them and chat.”

A popular booth was a first-time exhibitor that reaches out to Vietnam veterans. Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Inc. was presenting each Vietnam war era veterans with a free book, “A Time to Honor” about Indiana’s involvement with the war.

“We have 110,000 Vietnam era veterans living in Indiana,” WHVV executive director Jill Fewell said. “Events like this expo are so important. In Indiana one-half of the Vietnam vets are not aware of, or not receiving the benefits they have earned.”

Post 72 Commander Bonita Clements also was enjoying the expo and chatting with attendees. She was encouraging vets to become members of the post.

“It is very important that a lot of veterans get the information available here,” Clements said. “Hearing all the veteran’s wonderful stories has been great.”

Two of the attendees were related to Clements. Her husband, David Sadler, is a veteran of the Vietnam War and her son, Craig Clements fought in the Gulf War.

David Sanders of Sanders Funeral Home was in attendance passing out information on a special veteran pre-planning funeral services for veterans.

“Vets do not always know that there are special veteran programs for them at funeral homes,” Sanders said. “We want the veterans and their families know that funeral homes can pre-plan funerals to make it easier for families during their time of loss.”

The Blue Star Mothers started the day serving a free sausage gravy and biscuits breakfast.

Flu shots and COVID immunizations also were made available.