Veterans receive heartfelt thanks at Richmond resource fair


Veterans were treated to a colorful, family-friendly fair in Richmond Wednesday, where they could access a number of important resources and where local residents could thank them for their sacrifice with handshakes and hugs.

The Veterans Resource Program, founded by Rhonda Harris, partnered with the office of Mayor Tom Butt to hold a fair outside its headquarters at 934 Maine Ave. The fair served both to celebrate military members and also to connect those in need with resources such as housing and jobs. The event included live music, kids activities such as a bouncy house and free food and clothes for veterans.

Ted Wilson, a Vietnam vet, said the fair is important for both civilians and veterans alike. A military official said there are about 23 million veterans in the U.S., about 6-percent of the nation’s population. Many suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and have found it difficult to reestablish their lives upon their return home.

vets.11-11-3“This [veteran’s fair] informs the neighbors about veterans in their community, their needs and about the services offered to them [at Veterans Resource Program],” Wilson said. “They learn about important resources to help reintroduce veterans to the civilian community.”

The Veterans Resource Program has been around for five years. Harris started the program to honor her father, a veteran of the Korean War. In an article in Radio Free Richmond, Mayor Butt, a veteran himself, called the organization “the last vestige of veterans organization’s presence in Richmond.”

To learn more about the Veterans Resource Program, visit here.

Check out some photos from Wednesday’s resource fair: