Hundreds of active-duty soldiers and veterans attended the free fair, where more than 70 vendors filled the East Club Lounge at Raymond James Stadium, providing information on topics such as career development and healthcare benefits.
Veteran Carlos Pratts, who attended the inaugural event in 2012 in search of a career change, knows firsthand how valuable the information and assistance provided at the fair can be.
-- Members of the military attended Thursday's resource fair looking for career opportunities
This year, Pratt attended the fair on behalf of the company that hired him. Throughout the morning, Pratts served as a recruiter for Western & Southern Life, sharing information with eager military veterans just like him.
“I’m here today, partly as a veteran, talking about what the company has done for me and supporting our veterans,” said Pratts. “This job fair helped [expose me] to a lot of different companies that are willing to support veterans or hire veterans.”
Buccaneers Senior Manager of Community Relations Kevin Brown was honored to help facilitate an effort that provided valuable assistance to members of the military. "We’re proud to carry on this event and create real opportunities for veterans in our community,” he said.
As a result of the four-hour event, more than 30 veterans also signed up for health benefits they did not previously have, a testament to the veteran health care enrollment program.
This week, the Buccaneers and USAA are paying tribute to the military as part of the NFL’s "Salute to Service" campaign, a league-wide effort where teams are showing their appreciation for U.S. Armed Forces in their respective communities. On Tuesday, a large contingent of Buccaneers players and cheerleaders joined USAA, the team’s official military appreciation sponsor, in a visit to U. S. Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg to host a barbecue lunch for local service members. The Buccaneers group also visited Bay Pines VA Hospital later that afternoon to greet warriors recovering from injury and illness.
The team’s efforts will be highlighted on Veteran’s Day – Monday, November 11 – when the Buccaneers host the Miami Dolphins in front of a nationally-televised audience for ESPN’s Monday Night Football. The evening, which will showcase “Salute to Service” elements throughout the game production, will include an in-stadium card stunt by fans to show appreciation for veterans; a special pregame ceremony featuring honorary coin toss captain Brenda Schwarzkopf, widow of General Norman Schwarzkopf; and a special tribute to Colonel Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., as the team’s "Hero of the Game." To learn more about the Buccaneers’ military appreciation efforts, visit www.buccaneers.com/salute.