Vets comet together at third annual Veterans Conference
Gila River Indian News
The third annual Veterans Conference was held on Aug. 31, at the Sheraton Grand Resort at Wild Horse Pass. Hosted by the Veterans and Family Services Office, their focus for the conference was to bring together active duty military, veterans, and their families to inform them of the numerous services offered by their department. Over 100 veterans and family were in attendance.
Participants were treated to breakfast before breaking into sessions. The Veterans and Family Services Office gave recognition to Pamela Thompson, Leland Thomas, and Joseph Davis for their continued work and support with the conference and VFSO.
The sessions offered information on the men’s traditional games as part of their cultural session and a presentation by the Huhugam Heritage Center on their upcoming veteran’s exhibit which will be opening next year in January.
The event had various informational booths geared to veterans and their families that included the Huhugam Heritage Center, Gila River Health Care, United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Haskell Osife-Antone Women’s Auxiliary Unit 51, and more.
One of the goals for the conference was to learn what the Community wants from the Veterans and Family Services Office. After the breakout sessions and lunch, participants of the conference were given a background overview of the VFSO and were asked what more can be done and what they would like to see in the future.
Participants were then grouped together to come up with a list and present to others for discussion. The information gathered will help to improve their services for the VFSO as they plan to keep everyone informed of what they have to offer as they implement the ideas provided. Some of the service suggestions included: transportation, classes and family programs, ceremonies, and a veterans building.
The VFSO continues to reach out to the Community and will be hosting a roundtable on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at the District 7 Services Center (Community Room). Topics will include: outreach, Native American income tax settlement, Four Rivers will packet questionnaire, and Huhugam Heritage Center veteran and family outreach. For more information, you can call the VFSO at (520) 562-6221.