Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

June 22, 2014 at 1:29pm

Words & Photos: Veterans Resource Fair at the Tacoma Dome

Alexander Pow Sang gives Army veteran Douglas Thomas’ a blood check during a Veterans Resource Fair June 21 at the Tacoma Dome. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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Two veterans worked hard to make a difference for other veterans.

"We veterans have a unique relationship," explained Army veteran Scot Pondelick. 

"It's a kind of love that we have."

Pondelick and Navy veteran Tito Medina organized the first annual Veterans Resource Fair at the Tacoma Dome's Exhibition Hall June 21.

"I knew there were plenty of resources in the area, but it was a matter of publicizing them and gathering them at one time in one place," explained Medina.

He emphasized that some of the service providers don't have a large network, so the fair would help them get to know each other.

"This event is for veterans, but it will also allow providers to get to know each other in order to better help veterans."

>>> Hundreds of veterans and family members turned out for the first annual Veterans Resource Fair at the Tacoma Dome's Exhibition Hall.  Over 130 providers were on hand to offer services and resources. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

>>> Steven Hanna of Executive Massage bends down to listen to Air Force veteran Michael Jobb during a back massage at the Veterans Resource Fair. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

The Veteran Resources Fair is comprised of veteran-owned agencies, individuals, nonprofits and numerous federal, state and county agencies.

The event was open to service members getting ready to separate, National Guard members, reservists, veterans and their family members.

Some of the providers on hand represented community services, educational benefits, disability claims and benefits, financial education as well as housing and home ownership services.

One woman uses her ability with needles and donated yarn to help further the message of assisting veterans.

"Everyone needs something warm," said Maggie Gustafson as she sat next to a large selection of colorfully knitted lap robes.

"These show that we care about our veterans and will help them."

Pondelick and Medina plan on returning next year.

"This is a labor of love," said Pondelick. 

"This is an event we plan to have annually."

For more information on volunteering, visit www.theveteransresourcefair.us.

Filed under: Veterans, Community, Tacoma,
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