VA Maryland Health Care System
7th Annual Welcome Home for Returning Veterans
For Rochelle Howard, 35, an Army Veteran who was deployed six times in eight years to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa as a member of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps, transitioning back to civilian life after each deployment proved increasingly difficult. So difficult that she knew when she started to feel more at home in a combat area than at home, enough was enough. After her separation from the military and with help from the VA Maryland Health Care System, she began feeling more "like my old self" and more at home in a civilian environment.
Howard is joining an estimated 200 other newly returning Veterans for the VA Maryland Health Care System's 2013 Welcome Home Information and Job Fair, set for Saturday, Sept. 21, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Community College of Baltimore County's (CCBC) Catonsville Campus at the Barn, 800 South Rolling Road, Baltimore, MD 21228.
"The purpose of the event is to express our country's gratitude to returning Veterans for their service, but also to introduce these Veterans to the VA benefits that they have earned. We also want to empower returning Veterans to take charge of their health and well-being and help facilitate a smooth transition by linking them with employers looking to hire Veterans and local colleges and universities that accept the Post 9/11GI Bill," said Christopher Buser, LCSW-C, BCD, lead social worker of the Managed Care Clinical Center and the clinical director of the Post-Deployment Health Reintegration Program for the VA Maryland Health Care System.
Representatives from local employers and career assistance organizations such as Northrop Grumman, Johns Hopkins University and Able Forces, among others will be available to assist Veterans with employment opportunities. Additionally, four-year colleges accepting the Post 9/11 GI Bill, such as Towson University and Stevenson University, will be on hand to provide information about educational opportunities for returning Veterans. The VA Maryland Health Care System, the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, the Veterans Benefits Administration, and many other community organizations will also be available to provide information on health care services and benefits for Veterans from Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.
Veterans should come prepared with their DD-214 to apply for VA health care services, and with their resumes to leave with potential employers.
"We especially hope to reach returning Veterans who are not yet enrolled for VA health care during our 7th Annual Welcome Home celebration," says Dennis H. Smith, director of the VA Maryland Health Care System. "The VA is looking forward to serving the needs of returning Veterans and to assist them with the transition to civilian life. There will be a wealth of information available about employment, education, health and benefits resources during the Welcome Home to assist returning Veterans with their transition process."
The event is free and open to all Veterans. For more information, please call 410-605-7259.