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Harford to hold Veterans Resource Fair at Bel Air Armory Saturday

In support of those who served our nation, Harford County will host a resource fair for veterans and their families on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Bel Air Armory, 37 N. Main St. in Bel Air.

This free event will be a one-stop-shop for information about benefits, jobs, housing, and educational opportunities for veterans, according to a news release announcing the event.

Exhibitors will feature family-friendly, interactive demonstrations including mechanical horse rides, a trained service dog, 3-D printing, and virtual reality experiences. Veteran-owned Mission BBQ will provide free sandwiches, compliments of Harford County government.

This is the second annual resource fair hosted by the all-volunteer Harford County Commission on Veterans Affairs under the administration of County Executive Barry Glassman.

Last year's first fair, also held at the Armory in early October, drew between 45 and 50 veterans, according to County Councilman James McMahan, who works closely with the commission.

McMahan called the 2016 event "one of the best we have done for veterans in a long time," but he also lamented that many veterans are not availing themselves of a myriad of services available to them in Harford County.

"So many of our veterans feel lost, and it is a phenomenon that is increasing every day," he said at the time.

McMahan speculated that some veterans feel there is shame in asking for or seeking help, which he said is unfortunate, particularly in Harford, which has a large veterans population and many organizations that are open and welcoming to them.

Planned exhibitors at Saturday's Veterans Resource Fair include: Aberdeen Lioness Club; American Legion Post 39 Bel Air; APG US Army Garrison - Survivor Outreach; Chesapeake Therapeutic Riding; Easter Seals; Harford Community College; Harford County Department of Housing and Community Development; Harford County Public Library; Heroes on the Water; Home Depot; Marine Corps League Detachment 1198; Maryland Commitment to Veterans; Maryland Conservatory of Music; and Maryland Higher Education Commission.

Also scheduled to participate are Maryland Vet Center; Maryland Center for Veterans Education & Training; Maryland Department of Veteran Affairs - Bel Air Office; Maryland Dept. of Labor, Licensing and Regulation; Quilts For Heroes; VA Health Care System, VA Benefits Office and VeRUS for Vets.

"I encourage all veterans and their families to stop by on Oct. 7 to visit with other veterans, learn about available resources, and explore the interactive exhibits," Glassman said in a statement.

"I would also like to thank the members of Harford County's Commission on Veterans Affairs and the many volunteers, community partners and businesses involved," the county executive continued. "Their overwhelming support is a reflection of Harford County's deep gratitude for our nation's veterans and their families.

Get in touch with the Harford County Commission on Veterans Affairs on Facebook or at vetcommission@harfordcountymd.gov or call 410-638-3523 for assistance.

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