There are a myriad of services available to local veterans, but they are spread out all over the Joplin area, making it hard for them to get around to all of them.
That’s the purpose behind the annual Veterans Expo, and what better place to hold it than Memorial Hall?
This is the third year for the event, which is put on by the American Legion Post 13 in Joplin.
“They want to meet veterans and they appreciate them,” explained legion commander Warren Turner. “We’ve got everything here from the Gideons, the Bibles for Military, to the VA, the clinic. We have a lot of veterans that come in asking questions about ‘How do I use the VA clinic?’ So we’ve got them here. And burial — how do you get a military burial? So, a lot of questions were answered today.”
This year’s event included 55 different vendors, up from 40 last year.
Charlie 22 Outdoors was one of them.
“We use the outdoors to bring veterans to the area for different events from hunting to fishing, we do NASCAR, sailing, golf,” explained Charlie 22 Outdoors president Scotty Hettinger. “The event brings us together and we try and show love and grace and help them with the things they are facing from PTSD to physical disability — just the demons they’re facing and help them recover from what they’re facing.”
“Where we bring the family and friends together and just really honor the veteran for their service and commitment to their country and everything they’ve given at end of their life, and it becomes very important to reflect back on all those things that really make them who they are,” said Tracy Pickett with Avalon Hospice.