The event is set to celebrate Veterans Day as well as showcase area opportunities for veterans. The public is invited and admission is free.
Vendors will be on-site offering information and giveaways to veterans and the community during the expo. Festivities will include live music by Roses and Revolvers and 27 Delta, complimentary Cajun treats by Super One Foods,and children&rsquos activities including a kid&rsquos parade and military-themed Touch-a-Truck. The museum will host an open house throughout the day beginning at 9:00 a.m. The expo and children&rsquos parade will begin at 3:00 p.m. and the Freedom Trees lighting ceremony will be at 5:30 p.m.
Children are invited to dress in patriotic or camouflage outfits for the Patriotic Kid&rsquos Parade where they can march on-foot or bring decorated non-motorized wagons, bikes and scooters. Guardians and children are invited to line up at 2:30 and the parade will begin at 3:00 p.m. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
The event will conclude with the annual Freedom Trees lighting with Christmas trees representing the five branches of the military. The trees are provided by the Monroe-West Monroe Convention and Visitor&rsquos Bureau and are decorated by volunteers from Chase VETS Business Resource Group. This will kick-off the Convention and Visitor&rsquos Bureau&rsquos &ldquoChristmas on the River&rdquo series.
Finding Solace Counseling owner, Lyla Corkern said, &ldquoAs a veteran&rsquos wife and a local counselor, I encounter the struggles of veterans both personally and professionally. The lack of guidance, clarity, and resources in this area leaves so many struggling to find themselves and reach their potential. Having this event is finally a chance for us to create real change and provide real help.&rdquo
Always Best Care Senior Services will have a 1968 Military Kaiser Jeep on-site for a Stuff-a-Jeep campaign to collect much-needed items for residents at the Veteran&rsquos VA Nursing Home in Monroe. The community is invited to drop off items such as body wash, aftershave, spray deodorant, various sizes of sweat suits, pajama bottoms, and slippers. Donations will be collected at the museum during the event and the prior week. Business owner, Kristen Lambrecht said, &ldquoAs a provider for in-home care services to veterans over the past 12 years in this community, we know first-hand the needs of all veterans, in private homes and in the nursing home.  We have met many veterans who do not have the means to purchase even the simplest items for their day to day needs.  Always Best Care is honored to assist in helping donate the items that could possibly impact the quality of life for all the veterans who put their own lives on hold to protect our country.&rdquo