Former Navy Seal Jathan Chicoine will be the keynote speaker for the March 27 Eastern Iowa/Western Illinois Veterans Conference.
The conference will move to a new location, Building 4 at Black Hawk College, 6600 34th Ave., Moline.
Chicoine became well known in unusual circumstances when his dog, Jack, went missing a little more than a year ago. Chicoine rescued Jack in 2009 while he was in Aghanistan. A Facebook page is dedicated to finding Jack.
Chicoine works as, and is the first, veterans services coordinator at Iowa State University. He also has served several years as chairperson to the Iowa Academic Council on Military Education.
He has earned recognition for his commitment to veterans. He was named 2016 Iowa Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year, and he earned the 2016 M.J. Riggs Award for contributions and impact to the Iowa State University Memorial Union.
The conference is sponsored by Black Hawk College, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, St. Ambrose University and Western Illinois University/Quad Cities. It is developed for veterans but everyone is welcome.
The event is free but registration is needed to help organizers make appropriate arrangements. For more information or to register, visit www.eicc.edu/vetsconference
Check-in begins at noon with the opening ceremony at 12:30 p.m. The event closes with a resource fair beginning at 3:40 p.m.
In addition to Chicoine’s keynote speech, breakout sessions including:
- VETS Van Gogh — how art can benefit transitioning combat veterans.
- Mind, Body, Soul — the connection between mental health and physical well-being.
- Veterans Career Bootcamp — a short, intensive, session designed to help veterans apply for their next job.
A pre-conference workshop is also scheduled for the morning. Beginning at 9 a.m., Military 101, designed for non-veterans, provides an overview of the branches of the Armed Forces, introduces military terms and rank structure, and provides a foundation to assist in understanding military culture. Everyone is welcome.