UNCASVILLE, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut is a state rich in military history.
More than 35,000 active military members call our state home, and the United Service Organizations wants to help each and every one of them.
“When you’re away from your home and you’re serving, you’re really mission-focused and to have those moments where you can relax, maybe have a laugh or something like that really is quite priceless to them,” explained USO Chief Development Officer Cathy de Silva.
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This year, all of the proceeds from the third annual Vets Rock will go toward building a brick and mortar facility in Connecticut.
“It’s a place where our military can go to relax, have a cup of coffee. Where they can Skype or phone home or get onto a computer and basically connect,” de Silva said.
For the last two years, money raised through Vets Rock was used to help veterans on an individual basis through a local nonprofit.
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Chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council Kevin Brown says this year, they wanted to raise the stakes and that partnering with the USO is the way to do that.
“They are an entertainment provider to servicemen and women and so it’s a natural fit for them to be a part of everything we do moving forward,” Brown said. “That said, we’re always gonna keep our eye on the ball for local and regional charitable efforts to help veterans and find ways to thread them into what we’re doing here.”
De Silva says building a facility costs about $1 million. The USO funds its efforts entirely through donations.
This year, Mohegan Sun has pledged to give $100,000 to the organization’s efforts and hopes to continue giving for years to come.
“We’re both like minded. We both want to support our active duty military and veterans that are here. And a place like Mohegan gives the USO an opportunity to expand our voice,” De Silva explained.