Hundreds of veterans and their families in Riverside County have taken advantage of two opportunities to learn how to improve their lives – and they will now have a third.

Democratic Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz is again sponsoring the highly popular Veterans University on March 3 at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage. It will be the third annual event.

It is a one-day event covering a myriad of topics including: health care and disability benefits, exposure to burn pits, mental health, female veteran-specific topics, home ownership, and employment resources for veterans. Presenters include representatives from Veteran Service Organizations, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Small Business Administration.

University presenters will provide a broad overview of each benefit, followed by practical and detailed information on how to access the benefits described. Participants will also receive contact information they can utilize, should they have difficulty accessing benefits on their own. There will also be a veterans’ resource expo with many local organizations and agencies that serve veterans.

For Riverside County’s 132,228 veterans, it is one-stop assistance with expertise at their fingertips to help navigate a sometimes complex system mired in red tape. The event is expected to draw several hundred veterans and their families.

Riverside County has the third highest veteran population in the state and is the host of two major military installations; various National Guard facilities and installations; and state and federal reserve facilities and installations.

Ruiz and Tom Freeman

Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz and Tom Freeman (Photo courtesy of Tom Freeman)

“The Veterans University is mission-essential for our veterans,” said Tom Freeman, retired National Defense Commissioner from Riverside County. “Dr Ruiz’s efforts complement what the County of Riverside is doing. Working with our congressional delegation we have seen $99 million come to the veterans living here, in federal disability payments, over the past three years alone. Education and training go hand-in-hand. We are grateful for the Veterans University and encourage fellow veterans of every era to attend.”

The Congressman’s event this year coincides with the aggressive actions of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors to improve services for veterans and their families. Supervisors unanimously approved the Veterans Improvement Program of Riverside County earlier this year. As part of the program, supervisors are asking that electronic access to federal and state military records be restored. Records access was eliminated following a hacking/electronic security breach. The county is looking to work with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to restore access.

Supervisors are also creating an internship program promoting and encouraging the practice of interviewing veterans for the county’s 20,000 jobs.

No meals will be provided at Veterans University. Water will be provided on site.

The program runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check in is at 8:30 a.m.

You can register to attend by clicking here.

Valet parking is free at Agua Caliente. Self-parking is also available in the parking garage and on surface lots. Surface lot parking on the North side is accessed from Ramon Road.

If you have any questions about this event, you may call the congressman’s office at 760-424-8888.