Lyndon State College Hosts Third Annual NEK Veterans Summit

Lyndon State College Hosts Third Annual NEK Veterans Summit
Author and speaker Ruth Cocker, and a scene from the 2014 Ian Muller Rail Jam at Q-Burke Resort in Burke, Vt.

Lyndon State College Hosts Third Annual NEK Veterans Summit

Pre- and Post-Summit Events Include Ian Muller Rail Jam

February 13, 2015

The Lyndon State College Veterans Club in partnership with the LSC Veterans Student Support Committee and other veteran service organizations will be hosting the third annual NEK Veterans Summit on the Lyndon campus on Saturday, March 14, 2015. The purpose is to bring veterans, their families, and veteran service organizations together to build relationships, stronger connections, and an enhanced regional support network. The Summit runs from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

This year's keynote speaker is award-winning writer Ruth W. Crocker, the author of the 2014 book, Those Who Remain: Remembrance and Reunion After War. The widow of Army Captain David R. Crocker, Jr., she returned to college after his death and completed three post-graduate degrees. Crocker has been a nutritionist, a family therapist and eating disorders specialist, a college professor, and owner and administrator of a 100-bed skilled nursing facility. She serves as Chapter/Region Liaison to the National Board of Gold Star Wives of America and Chaplin to the New England region.

There will be a variety of breakout sessions for veterans and their families throughout the day including PTSD and TBI; employment opportunities; benefits; entrepreneurship; and VA loans. There will be sessions specifically intended for women veterans, student veterans, and veteran farmers.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will be hosting a one-day Stand Down in conjunction with the NEK Veterans Summit. Stand Downs are collaborative events, coordinated between local VAs, other government agencies, and community agencies who serve the homeless to provide services to homeless veterans. These services include food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, VA and Social Security benefits counseling, and referrals to a variety of other necessary services, such as housing, employment and substance abuse treatment.

The Mobile Vet Center is a 30 foot long bus operated by the White River Junction Vet Center; it will be available throughout the Summit. The center provides readjustment counseling and information resources to combat veterans. Like community-based veteran centers, Mobile Vet Centers focus on services that help combat veterans make the transition between military and civilian life.

More than 50 veteran service organizations will have information booths to provide a "one-stop-shop" for veterans' services, clubs, and resources.

Advance registration for the Summit is required and attendance is limited. For more information, contact LSC Veterans Club advisor Thom Anderson at 802 626-6346 or

This year's NEK Veterans Summit has been made possible through a grant by the Vermont Veterans Fund and by generous donations from these sponsors:

Platinum Sponsor: Mobile Medical International Company (MMIC)

Gold Sponsors: Warrior Spirit Ranch, Inc.; Wounded Warrior Project; Department of Vermont Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 793 St. Johnsbury, Post 798 Newport, and Post 10038 Lyndonville; and RuralEdge

Silver Sponsors: Vermont Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association (CVMA 26-1); All Metals Recycling; Northern Vermont Regional Hospital; Veterans, Inc.; Vermont Veteran Services

Bronze Sponsors: Thom Anderson; Pamela L. Smith, LT COL, RET; Vermont Business & Professional Women Inc.; Steven Woodward; Hunkins & Eaton Insurance Agency; Norman "Buzz" York; William Morison; Brian Perry; Steve Robertson, Captain, US Army (Retired) and Vivian Wolf, Lt Col, USAF (Retired); Andrea Therrien; Clif and Susanne Muller; The Advisory Board of Rhythm of the Rein Therapeutic Riding and Driving Program; The Honorable Bernie Sanders, US Senator from Vermont; Champlain College, Office of Graduate Admissions; John Des Groseilliers; Dyllan Durham; and The Uniformed Service Program at the Brattleboro Retreat.

In conjunction with the summit, the LSC Veterans Club, Q Burke Mountain Resort, and the LSC Ski & Ride Club are sponsoring the 2nd annual Ian Muller Rail Jam at Q Burke Mountain Resort, also on March 14, 2015. Registration starts at 4:30 p.m., competition starts at 5; the registration fee is $5. There will be a beer and food tent; live entertainment begins after the Rail Jam. All proceeds will go to the Ian Muller Memorial Scholarship; an annual $1,000 scholarship to an LSC student veteran.

Ian Muller, a Danville, Vt., native, attended LSC prior to enlisting in the Marine Corps. An avid bodybuilder, athlete, and ski instructor at Burke Mountain, Muller was killed during combat operations in Helmand Provence, Afghanistan, in March, 2011. Muller often volunteered to take the dangerous lead position during combat patrols; he said he did it because many of his colleagues had wives and children, and he did not. Donations to the scholarship can be made by contacting Sara Lussier at LSC, 802 626-6426 or Rail Jam sponsors include: Q Burke Mountain Resort; 14th Star Brewery; East Burke Sports; Village Sport Shop; LSC Veterans Club; LSC Ski & Ride Club; LSC MEISA Club; Monster; and FACE.

In recognition of the Veterans Summit and Ian Muller Rail Jam, Q Burke Mountain Resort will offer free lift tickets to veterans and their immediate family members on Sunday, March 15. Proof of service is required.

On March 13 at 6 p.m., the evening prior to the Summit, VFW Post 793 at 204 Eastern Avenue in St. Johnsbury, is hosting a live band - the Mangroves. This is open to the public; there is a $5 dollar cover charge. All proceeds from the event go to help the LSC Student Veterans Club travel to Orlando for the 2016 Student Veterans of America Conference.