CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In anticipation of inclement weather from Nicole, the Carolinas Veterans Day Festival scheduled for Friday was postponed until spring.
Veterans Bridge Home hosts the event. Steve Cole, the group's vice president of advancement, says more than 2,000 people were registered and prepared to honor veterans.
Veterans Bridge Home works to integrate veterans and their families into the community while transitioning out of the military. Cole says activities like working out together, lunches and park cleanups are ways to network and build community in an organic way.
This week, Veterans Bridge Home coordinated a cleanup at Thompson Park and Veterans Park for those who served, their families and supporters.
Kerri Ann Burke served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years and retired in 2017. She says she leaned on Veterans Bridge Home for help getting adjusted to Charlotte, where there is no military base.
"How do I connect with the nonmilitary community, you know, little things like corresponding, communicating ... applying for jobs, writing a resume, translating our skills from military skill set to a civilian, a nonmilitary skill set," Burke said. "Going and interacting with the community, ingraining ourselves into the community, all of that has been a journey."
Since Burke retired, she says she has earned her bachelor's degree and will be applying for her master's next.
As a veteran, she says she will be using Veterans Day to reflect on America.
"There's so much freedom here, but you have to stand up and defend it," Burke said. "I honor the men and women who stand up to defend it by serving this country to ensure that we are the land of the free."