2nd Annual Welcome Home Veterans Event

<p>2nd Annual Welcome Home Veterans Event</p>

2nd Annual Welcome Home Veterans Event

The Walla Walla Veteran Affairs Medical Center is putting on its 2nd Annual Welcome Home Veterans event today in Richland.

Local vets and their families enjoyed a day of food and fun at the park while getting information on benefits the vets might not be aware of.

Every veteran at today's event was appreciative of the chance to seek out information necessary for their individual situation

"This is a welcome home and it gives us a chance to find out what we have available to us like medical treatments, said Bernard fineberg, who served during the Vietnam era. "It's a relief, we're finally being recognized for the services."

Some those services include health services, money for disability and counselors to help troops deal with  PTSD.

Washington State Director of Veterans Affairs Alfie Alvarado said with more than 50,000 vets in the Tri-Cities, Yakima, Walla Walla and Grant County, it's important this portion of the state is not forgotten when it comes to helping local veterans.

"It's my honor to have traveled here for this event, I intend to come to Eastern Washington much more often because it's underserved and we are going to fix that," said Alvarado.

The VA will monitor an executive order recently signed by Governor Jay Inslee telling state agencies to hire veterans.

The VA is also starting an apprenticeship program at Joint Base Lewis McChord that will provide piping, plumbing and electrical training for active miltary members so that when they leave the force, they'll have a good paying job in their hands.

The VA plans begin building a veterans home in Walla Walla at the end of the year and there are talks to build a local military cemetery in coming years.