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Organizers pleased with turnout at Harford County Veterans Resource Fair

Organizers pleased with turnout at Harford County Veterans Resource Fair
Vistors to Saturday's Harford County Veterans Resource Fair receive information from exhibitors set up on the floor of the Bel Air Armory. (Courtesy photo/Harford County government)

Organizers of Saturday's Harford County Veterans Resource Fair pronounced it a success as more than 100 veterans showed up to talk with a variety of service providers.

The fair was held for the second year at the Bel Air Armory, where the main floor was occupied with dozens of tables staffed by local veterans organizations and organizations that provide a myriad of services to veterans.

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The three-hour fair, which also featured lunch, was organized by the Harford County Commission on Veterans Affairs. Veteran-owned Mission BBQ provided free sandwiches, compliments of Harford County government.

Organizers said 108 veterans registered upon entering the armory, more than double the number who attended last year.

"I think it's been a good turnout; I'm pleased with it," said State Sen. Bob Cassilly, an Army veteran, who talked with fellow vets as he made his way through the fair. "They've had people here from all over Harford County, a few from Baltimore County, too."

Among those attending were Daniel J. Muffoletto, 92, of Forest Hill, an Army private first class who served with the Tenth Mountain Division at the 87th Regimental Headquarters in Italy during World War II, and active duty Army 2nd Lt. Garrett M. Anthony, 23, of Bel Air, a maintenance platoon leader with third Third Infantry Division stationed at Ft. Stewart, Ga.

Army 2nd Lt. Garrett M. Anthony, 23, Third Infantry Division, maintenance platoon leader, and WWII veteran Army Pfc. Daniel J. Muffoletto, 92, Tenth Mountain Division, were the youngest and oldest attendees, respectively, at Saturday's Harford County Veterans Resource Fair.
Army 2nd Lt. Garrett M. Anthony, 23, Third Infantry Division, maintenance platoon leader, and WWII veteran Army Pfc. Daniel J. Muffoletto, 92, Tenth Mountain Division, were the youngest and oldest attendees, respectively, at Saturday's Harford County Veterans Resource Fair. (Courtesy photo/Harford County government)

The two were the oldest and youngest attendees, respectively, and posed for a photograph together. Fair organizers said Muffoletto was one of two World War II veterans who registered during the event.

"I think it's been wonderful," Bel Air resident Thurman Doolittle, an Army veteran, said as he placed a push pin into Germany on a map of the world that had been set up for attendees to show where they had served.

There were quite a few pins in Germany, Doolittle noted, but many other places were marked as well.

Doolittle said he served with the Army from 1968 to 1970 and then attended the University of Maryland College Park on the GI Bill.

He said he's an active member of the Harford County Public Library's Veterans Book Club.

"They feed us there, too," he chuckled.

Cindy Mumby, Harford County director of governmental and community relations, said commission members were pleased with the turnout, particularly since the fair was held on an events-heavy weekend that also included Saturday's Darlington Apple Festival and several local fire company open houses. Mumby represented Harford County Executive Barry Glassman at the fair.

"Last year there were two rows of tables [for exhibitors], this year there are six, so it's pretty amazing" said Deborah Button, legislative aide to County Councilman Jim McMahan, the council's liaison to the commission. McMahan was unable to attend this year because he was attending a conference in Western Maryland on opioid abuse issues in the region's smaller counties, Button said.

Saturday's exhibitors included 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; and Harford County Public Library.

Also present were Heroes on the Water; Home Depot; Marine Corps League Detachment 1198; Maryland Commitment to Veterans; Maryland Conservatory of Music; Maryland Higher Education Commission; Maryland Vet Center; MD Center for Veterans Education & Training; MD Department of Veteran Affairs - Bel Air Office; MD Dept. of Labor, Licensing and Regulation; Quilts For Heroes; VA Health Care System, VA Benefits Office, and VeRUS for Vets.



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