Veterans Fair Draws Tremendous Response

By Kai Rambow


“I went all the way around, and I probably stopped at ninety percent of the tables,” commented wheelchair-bound veteran, Patrick Clarahan.  “Just about every table, people were very easy to talk to.  There were a few tables at which I had to wait, but it wasn’t that bad.”

The wait was due to the tremendous response from community veterans. Hundreds showed up to learn about services available to them. Pam Smith-Beatty, a 21-year veteran herself, is the Women Veterans Program Manager with the VA.  When asked about the focus on women, Smith-Beatty illuminated: “A lot of times they don’t think of themselves as veterans. Women do so many things, they often push their service to the side and we don’t think about it. In reality, that service means that you’re eligible for health benefits, care, loans and the GI bill. If you’ve ever served in any service, you should look and see what you’re benefits might be.”

Not knowing what is available was a common theme. Manuel Guevara with The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay shared how very few veterans knew about their center. “It is the epicenter for crises or referral.  We answer the 211 calls, the substance abuse hotline, and the suicide prevention line.” Just about any question related to mental health and well-being can probably be answered by this center.  More importantly, they can let veterans know where to find help.

Clarahan was enthused to learn about some extracurricular activities that should help him get out of the house more.  “Because of my disabilities, I spend a lot of my time watching TV.”  This well attended event was clearly helpful to many veterans.


In the photo: Bud Brubaker and Bill McKiernan volunteered to let Marine veterans know about the Leathernecks club.


Submit a Comment

South Bay Hospital Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day

Dozens of staff children attended National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day at South Bay Hospital recently. This annual event is an educational program in the United States and Canada where parents take their children to work with them for one day....

The June 2019 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… The new South Hillsborough Veterans Clinic welcomes patients, the 75th Anniversary of D-Day is commemorated in a very special way, and employees at South Bay Hospital bring their children to work for the day. Save the date for...

Senator Rubio Mobile Office in SCC on June 5

The Gulf Coast Regional Office of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio will be holding office hours in Sun City Center on Wednesday, June 5, from 9:30 a.m. — 12:30 p.m., in the Old Town Hall Ann Marie LeBlanc Room, 1002 Cherry Hills Drive. Meet your local staff and...

Florida Aquarium Returns Green Sea Turtles to The Ocean

The Florida Aquarium’s Animal Response Team recently returned four rehabilitated green sea turtles to the Atlantic Ocean at Wilbur-By-The-Sea in Volusia County. The release of these sea turtles was made possible through the Aquarium’s ongoing partnership...

Florida Aquarium Honors Our Military This Memorial Day

This Memorial Day Weekend and every day, The Florida Aquarium remembers the fallen and thanks all military members and veterans for protecting and serving our country. Join them Memorial Day Weekend, Friday, May 24 – Monday, May 27, 2019, with amazing...

Camp Bayou gets ready for summer!

Camp Bayou Gets Ready for Summer! By Dolly Cummings, Director Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center   There's lots of sun and fun this season as Camp Bayou gets ready for summer! Saturday, June 1 is National Trails Day. There will be cart tours,...