MADISON — The William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital is co-hosting the Southern Wisconsin Veteran’s Conference and Resource Fair (S WI Vet Con 2019) today, Nov. 19, at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.
Other hosts include the Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) of Eagle Country (serving Crawford, Juneau, Richland and Sauk counties), together with eight other ADRC counties in Southern Wisconsin: Dane, Rock, Jefferson, Dodge, Columbia, Green, Grant, Iowa and Lafayette.
The ADRC agencies in these counties also are partnering with their local County Veterans Service Officers.
This is the first time an event like this has been held in Wisconsin.
The purpose of the Veteran’s Conference is for veterans, their families and friends to learn about a variety of local resources, participate in breakout sessions and an opportunity to socialize with other veterans.
The conference’s keynote speaker is Karen Vaughn, the mother of fallen U.S. Navy SEAL Aaron Carson Vaughn.
On Aug. 6, 2011, Aaron was killed in action in the Tangi River Valley of Afghanistan when a chopper carrying 30 Americans was shot from the sky while rushing into battle.
Since then, Karen has become an influential supporter of veterans and the military.
The conference is for veterans of all ages. A few of the breakout session topics covered are:
• VA Golden Age Games-VA staff Joe Naylor and Greg Willenbucher speaking.
• Pension with Aid and Attendance and Survivor Benefits.
• Travel Resources to VA Appointments and Other Community Based Resources-VA Staff Justin Kramer speaking.
• Service-connected Disabilities to Include Presumptive Disabilities.
• Caregiver and Dementia Information and Resources-VA Staff Margaret Flood speaking.
• Mission Act Updates and VA Eligibility-VA Staff Carol Walsh and Tony Dargiewicz speaking.
• DNR – Licensing. Permits, and Accessible Parks and Recreation.
• Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals.
• Adaptive Sports and VA Alternative Whole Health Therapies-VA staff Dr. Jennifer McDonald speaking.