War Veterans “Welcome Home” Event at Tampa’s USF

It’s the Tampa Bay area’s Fourth Annual “Welcome Home America’s Heroes” celebration for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars offering entertainment, giveaways and helpful health and benefits information.

U.S. Soldiers assigned to Bravo Company, 2nd Infantry Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, patrol through the streets of Abu Ghraib, Iraq, May 7, 2009. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kani Ronningen/Released)

Tampa’s James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital is hosting the celebration for Florida’s active-duty military members and veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The VA estimates that more than 10,000 veterans from the area have served in the Global War on Terror. They and their family members are invited to the event that also includes free health screenings, information on employment and veterans’ benefits. It’s part of an outreach campaign to assure Florida’s returning veterans are aware of and receive the services and health care they’ve earned.

The event is scheduled at the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida, MLK Plaza, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Military members also will have the oppportunity to meet with representatives from the VA, state and community organizations such as the University of South Florida Veterans’ Association, VetSuccess and the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs officals.

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Homecoming Celebration for Veterans and Active-Duty

It’s labeled as a “homecoming.” In reality, it’s an opportunity for veterans to take advantage of  free health screenings, job information and to learn about their VA benefits.

Families greeting returned Florida National Guardsmen in December 2010 after almost a year's deployment.

The “Welcome Home America’s Heroes Celebration” for active-duty military and veterans who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is set March 26, a Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the University of South Florida, Tampa Campus, Martin Luther King Plaza.

The USF campus is home to about 1,000 war veterans and was the first to establish a VetSuccess on Campus program in June 2009. VetSuccess provides a full-time, experienced Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and a part-time Vet Center Outreach Coordinator on campus to support war veteran students.

The “celebration” will give veterans and their families access to members of VetSuccess, the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, USF Veterans Association, USF Office of Veterans Services, state and federal veterans affairs officials as well as elected officials.

You can learn more about the at the VA Vocational Rehabilitation Program and VetSuccess links or call 1-800-827-1000.

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