WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Cucalorus Connect -- the technology and innovation division of the Cucalorus Festival -- is giving military veterans discounted admission and holding an entrepreneurship panel to help them access education, career, and financial resources.
The original price of admission for Cucalorus Connect is $60 for the event on Nov. 9-10, but organizers offered veterans the discounted price of $35.
At a panel titled VETRACONx, speakers shared advice and personal stories about entrepreneurship after the transition to civilian life.
"I actually struggled with my transition, and I felt lost," said panelist Siobhan Norris, who served in the military for four years. Now, she works as the military liaison and program manager at UNCW to help entrepreneurs in the community.
The panelists agreed that active military personnel should prepare at least a month in advance before returning to life as a civilian. They also said the internet is a great place to start the search for help.
Norris hoped to give those in attendance a message of hope.
"I want (veterans) to know they are not alone. What they feel is very normal. Transitions are not ever easy," said Norris. "I also want them to know that when they leave the service, they have a community to go to."
Norris also encouraged veterans to take advantage of the GI Bill to help pay for their education. She referred them to call the hotline to seek assistance: 888-GIBILL-1 (888-442-4551).