Observer Staff

PENDLETON — The fifth annual Veteran Benefit Expo, the state’s largest veteran benefit resource event, will be held in Pendleton on July 27 at the Pendleton Convention Center.

Doors open at 9 a.m.

Organized by the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs and in partnership with Oregon Lottery, the Expo is a one-stop shop for Oregon veterans to learn about and access the full range of their earned benefits and local resources, in areas such as health care, disability claims assistance, finance, home loans, long-term care, mental health, education, business, recreation and more.

More than 65 benefit agencies, nonprofits, service providers and benefit experts will be on hand to assist veterans and their families in learning about the resources available to them.

“One thing we hear from veterans year after year with this event is that they’re blown away by all the benefits and resources they never knew existed,” ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick said. “Most come to the Expo with some idea of a few areas they want information in, but they always walk away with a whole lot more.”

The event moves to a new location each year, and has previously been hosted in Salem, Portland, Redmond and Medford. This year’s event will be its first time visiting Eastern Oregon.

The Veteran Benefit Expo is free and open to all. Doors close at 3 p.m.

ODVA will host a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. July 26 at the same location. Fitzpatrick will provide a brief update about new veteran services and programs, as well as be available to answer questions and hear concerns from veterans living in Eastern Oregon.

23672860