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Vets Rock Mohegan Sun

New London

A bagpiper led the color guard procession through the Shops at Mohegan Sun to kick off the opening ceremonies of Vets Rock.

Marine veteran and News 8 meteorologist Gil Simmons served as the emcee for the annual event which included a huge career fair in Mohegan Sun’s new expo center.

Among those attending was Victor Negron who is about to retire from Fort Drum.

“This is a big event,” said Victor Negron. “It’s one of the largest events we have in the area and I figure I drive… make the five hour drive here and see what it’s all about.”

“Veterans make great employees for a couple of reasons,” said Paul Barrow of Telling Industries. “Number one they’re a little more mature. They’ve had discipline instilled in their lives.”

The Windsor company which makes steel studs for commercial buildings did some hiring on the spot.

Related Content: Vets Rock takes place today at Mohegan Sun

Meanwhile Save-A-Suit filled a few tall orders. Nick Hanley who is 6’6″ got a new suit and then kneeled down to get a little help tying his tie.

“I got a job interview later today,” said Hanley. “I was really hoping they were going to help me and voila.”

We asked Save-A-Suit volunteer Elizabeth Mermegas how he looked. “He looks amazing!” she exclaimed.

Save-A-Suit provided hundreds of free suits to veterans at the employment fair.

Even Bigelow Tea is supporting veterans with a special blend. It’s not for sale. It’s actually donated to veterans and active military through the USO and other organizations. Just the tea company’s way of saying thank you.

Work Vessels for Vets has been saying thank you to injured veterans for ten years now. 

“We have given away over $2.5 million worth of equipment to more than 1,800 veterans in all 50 states as they’re looking to start a business,” said Cathy Cook who was one of the founding members of Work Vessels for Vets.

She announced that a 35 foot research vessel donated by Dominion Millstone power plant would be given to a veteran from Noank who is starting an oyster aquafarm business.

New8 also met veteran Sean Adams was given a John Deere tractor to help his hay operation in Georgia.

“A tractor’s a… any farm situation the heartbeat of the operation,” said Adams.

From healthcare to housing and many services some didn’t even realize existed, they were all there to reach out.

“You just never know,” said veteran Bill Johnson of Groton. “You always hear about four or five main ones. But you don’t know what’s really out there until you check it out yourself.”

If you couldn’t make it and want to know what services are available for veterans, the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs has an app for that.

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