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updated: 6/17/2011 7:09 PM

COD joins in Rockin' for the Troops Concert July 16

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COD News Bureau

College of DuPage is a sponsor for this year's Rockin' for the Troops event at Cantigny Park in Wheaton on Saturday, July 16.

Designated a "Military Friendly School" by G.I. Jobs two years in a row, College of DuPage will provide student volunteers to assist blind and injured veterans from Hines VA Hospital throughout the event. In addition, the College's booth will be staffed by members of the COD Student Veterans Association who will offer first-person insights on their experiences in higher education after returning from active duty to civilian life.

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"Rockin' for the Troops is a perfect venue to share information with veterans about federal education benefits for both themselves and their dependents," said Shelly Mencacci, COD coordinator of Veterans Services. "College of DuPage has made a strong commitment to our veterans -- we want to make their transition to college as seamless and successful as possible."

Stage entertainment for the sixth annual Rockin' for the Troops fundraiser starts at

2 p.m. (gates open at noon), with special appearances by Nashville Artist "Rockie Lynne," Motown Tribute Band "The Voices" and Rock Cover Band "One More Time." The evening will heat up with headliner Gary Sinise & the Lt. Dan Band, who take the stage at approximately 8 p.m.

More than 12,000 Chicago area residents are expected to attend this year's concert. Since its inception, Rockin' for the Troops has raised more than $2 million for veterans and their families across the country. Concert attendees are asked to bring items for Operation Support Our Troops -- America in exchange for a chance to win one of several door prizes. Since 2003, Lisle-based OSOT -- America has sent more than 150,000 pounds of comfort items to deployed troops and military field hospitals.

"While the goal of this event is to raise money for many great organizations, the concert also provides an atmosphere of support and appreciation for local veterans and their loved ones," Mencacci said. "We're proud to participate in this worthwhile effort, and we're looking forward to meeting with veterans and their families. I'm eager to advise and support them during their transition back to school and civilian life."

College of DuPage recognizes a number of tuition-based veteran education bills, including the Montgomery G.I. Bill for Active Duty, Survivors and Dependent Educational Assistance Program, and the Reserve Educational Assistance Program. The College also accepts the recently-enacted Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, which provides a maximum benefit of free tuition, a monthly housing allowance and a yearly book and supply stipend of up to $1,000 for qualifying veterans.

In addition, a representative from the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs is available at the COD Glen Ellyn campus, and a new Veterans Counseling certificate (the first of its kind in Illinois) is also set to begin this fall. Details about this new program are available by calling the Human Services department at (630) 942-2103 or (630) 942-2043.

For more information about services provided for veterans at COD, visit home.cod.edu/records/veteranbenefits.aspx. For more information about Rockin' for the Troops and to purchase tickets, visit www.wix.com/osotil/rockin-2011.

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