Hundreds of veterans were invited to the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs in Rocky Hill on Friday for the 27th Annual Stand Down event.
The event connects veterans from across the state of Connecticut with state-run benefits, housing and job opportunities. Veterans are also offered free health exams, clothes and haircuts.
"This year we have the largest number of service providers since the program was launched in 1992. More than 120 Federal and State agencies, community-based organizations, private businesses and veterans organizations will join with over 240 volunteers for a day of providing our Connecticut veterans with a full range of supportive services, programs and information about veterans’ benefits," said Thomas J. Saadi, the commissioner of veterans affairs.
One of those veterans who decided to return to the event this year was Giovanni Torcasio, who served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan in the United States Army.
He went to Stand Down to get an eye exam and connect with the multitude of state-run services.
“Oh, I think it’s great. A lot of this stuff would cost me a lot of money otherwise,” Torcasio said.
Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz also stopped by the event to speak with the veterans.