As residents across Connecticut prepare to celebrate Veterans Day with ceremonies and parades, the state has launched two new digital initiatives intended to help more than 200,000 veterans.
The new initiatives, a redesigned veterans affairs website and a mobile app, were launched Thursday and aim to better connect veterans with information on benefits and services.
“Our nation’s veterans deserve the very best, and modernizing our state website and launching a new smartphone app is a way that we are better connecting the men and women who have selflessly served our nation to the services available to them,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a statement.
The new website — www.ct.gov/veterans — has a cleaner interface and presents information in real time for veterans who are searching for the services and benefits offered by the agency. The new app, CTVeterans, is available on Apple and Android devices and provides a directory of services available to veterans, those now serving in the military, their families, and those who wish to help support veterans.
Funding for the new web page and the app came through a contract with Connecticut Interactive, which uses a self-funding model, the governor’s office said in a statement.
“As technology advances, so must how we provide information and assistance,” Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said in the statement. “One of our top priorities is ensuring more veterans connect with the services and supports they need to live fuller, healthier lives. We must do more than just thank our veterans for their service to the state and the nation.”
On Friday afternoon, U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin will join veterans at the Old Statehouse Museum on Main Street and announce a new Connecticut Veterans Legal Center office meant to serve Hartford-area residents.
The legal center, which will be inside the Newington VA Medical Center, “is the country’s first VA medical-legal partnership working to help veterans overcome legal barriers to housing, healthcare and income,” a spokesperson from Murphy’s office said.
Among other initiatives is a new program that will allow veterans who wish to become insurance agents to get reimbursement for the cost of applying for licenses, Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade announced on Thursday.
Seventeen types of insurance license exams, ranging in cost from $25 to $79, are eligible for reimbursement, Wade said in a release.
“We are honored to offer this service to our veterans working in the insurance industry in Connecticut. Under this program, veterans can be reimbursed for exam fees each time they take a test,” Wade said. “The men and women of the military who serve our nation and defend our way of life certainly are deserving of this.”
- Hartford — Local elected officials, labor organizations and community groups are hosting “Respect Veterans, Respect Puerto Rico” to honor veterans and millions of citizens on the island who are still suffering the effects of natural disasters and its debt crisis. The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at 885 Wethersfield Ave.
- New Britain — U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Etsy is joining Central Connecticut State University and state officials in honoring two veteran students. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. Friday at the university alumni hall and student center at 1615 Stanley St.
- New Haven — Blumenthal will join Doug Walker, son of the highest ranking officer missing in action in World War II, to announce a bipartisan Senate resolution urging a search for the bomber in which his father and 10 others were flying before an attack by Japanese fighters. The event is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Friday at Yale’s Woolsey Hall Rotunda at 500 College St.
- Storrs — Murphy will join University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst, students, veterans, faculty and staff at the university’s annual Veterans Day ceremony to thank student and faculty veterans for their service. The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Friday at 337 Mansfield Road.
Saturday and Sunday Ceremonies
- Avon — The Gildo Consolini Post 3272 is hosting a ceremony at 11 a.m. on Saturday on the town green.
- Berlin — A ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Veteran’s Memorial Park.
- Enfield — A parade is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday starting at the Enfield Street Elementary School.
- Farmington — A ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday at Farmington Town Hall, in front of the veteran’s memorial monument.
- Glastonbury — The Veterans Service Commission is holding a ceremony on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the monuments on the Hubbard Street Green.
- Middletown — A Veterans Day wreath ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Connecticut State Veterans Cemetery, 317 Bow Lane.
- Newington — A ceremony is scheduled for Saturday at 10:30 a.m. inside town hall.
- South Windsor — A ceremony, including a wreath hanging, is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday at Veteran’s Memorial Park, 575 Pleasant Valley Road.
- West Hartford — A ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Connecticut Veteran’s Memorial, located in Veterans Park, opposite the Goodman Green, in West Hartford Center.
- Windsor — A ceremony will take place at the town council chambers at 10 a.m. on Saturday.