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Saturday’s Veterans Bonanza provides free access to resources

The 7th annual event at the La Crosse Center will feature over 90 vendors with resources to help and inform veterans, families, and providers of their benefits, care, and community support.

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The 7th annual Veterans Bonanza at La Crosse Center on Saturday will feature over 90 vendors with resources to help and inform veterans, families, and providers of their benefits, care, and community support.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Center’s South Hall.

The Veterans Bonanza is an educational networking event for vets, their families and people of the community who care for veterans at all stages of life.

Houston County Veterans Service Officer, Rob Thoen, is a Marine Corps vet that spends his days helping connect vets and their families to benefits that are available.

Thoen said this year’s Bonanza is the biggest event to date.

“We’ll have vendors stretching across the veterans’ entire life,” Thoen said, “everything from education to end of life and everything in between whether that be home loans, legal issues, or employment.”

Preregistration for the free event is encouraged at the website. It also enters you into a contest. All registrants have a shot to win a $100 Gift Card to Bubba’s Meats in La Crosse.

Thoen shared that there are so many veterans who don’t take advantage of benefits. He hopes this event helps bridge that gap.

For those hesitant to reach out and receive benefits, Thoen has advice.

“We’ve helped those in need and now we are trying to get to those who have never seen anybody or never tried,” Thoen said. “There’s plenty of room with the VA, nothing’s going to run out and it’s your time to get it.”

There are constantly changes in rules and laws so it’s important to check in with your local county Veterans Service officer on what benefits may be available to you or your family.

Thoen added there was just a massive law change back in August.

“This is a great time to find out what happened with that and how it might affect you or family member,” he said. “Rules change all the time, and it’s hard to keep up with it. Why not see the people who are keeping up with it and can help you navigate it?”

Learn more about the Veterans Bonanza HERE.

Thoen was also featured on the most recent episode of Ken Cooper’s Around River City podcast with another veteran, Mid-West Family’s Scott Stach.

They have very different stories that end up coming to similar conclusions, talk about life as a veteran, services that are there for all vets, and a lot more.

Tracy has worked at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 2004. She is half of the Z93 Morning Buzz with Brittany and Ballzer and coordinates Z93's charity, Zcare. She writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse and announces for the Mississippi Valley Mayhem Roller Derby team.

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