In the News | Norwich resource fair resonates with vets of all ages

Veterans Fair Norwich, CT (Norwich Bulletin, March 22, 2018) —  Andrew Broggins is a 29-year-old Navy veteran looking for a job.

The submariner from Norwich, who is a Pennsylvania native, graduated from Three Rivers Community College in 2012 after studying electric engineering and technology. He is expected to graduate with his bachelor’s degree in May. But he returned to his old stomping ground on Thursday to attend the fifth annual Veterans Resource Fair, and brought along with him a few copies of his resume.

More than 40 organizations ranging from state agencies, employers and health care groups, as well as 13 yellow ribbon colleges were in attendance for the event, offering a variety of resources for veterans of all ages.

“It can be very challenging for veterans to get a job,” Broggins said. “You come out of the service with a lot of skills and experience, and when you go for the interview, people always say thank you for your service. The energy is there, but it’s difficult to get over that hump.”

For fellow retired Navy submariner Jon Pierce, 61, of Oakdale, Broggins story sounds very familiar.

“For older veterans, there is a lot of difficulty when it comes to technology. They aren’t familiar with email, or job search sites. Some of them don’t know how to use a computer, and some don’t want to know,” he said.

At Thursday’s fair, Pierce was making the rounds to collect business cards and pamphlets from local resources, in hopes of passing on the information to other veterans.

“This area has a very heavy population of veterans,” Sharon Lincoln, who works as a student support specialist at the community college and organizes the annual fair, said. “And there is even a high ratio of veterans at this school, too… We don’t just want this to be a fair for our students; we want this to be for the entire community.”

World War II veteran William Robinson, 92, of Preston, attends as many veteran fairs and events as he can. The Marine vet said he was keeping an eye out for a fellow World War II vet, though he always hopes to meet new faces, as well.

“There aren’t many of us left,” he said. “Things like this are so important. If we don’t keep this community active, then we risk being forgotten.”

 — By Stephanie Menders

The original article, as well as additional photos and videos, can be found here: ‘Norwich resource fair resonates with vets of all ages’

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