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Article updated: 6/19/2013 12:07 PM

COD Participates in 2013 Rockin' for the Troops Concert July 20

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By 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 20.

Designated a "Military Friendly School" by G.I. Jobs four 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 is committed to our veterans -- we want to make their transition to college as seamless and successful as possible."

The College hosted a kick-off event for the concert on April 29, featuring event organizers, sponsors and entertainment. Click here to view photos from the festivities.

Stage entertainment for the eighth annual Rockin' for the Troops fundraiser starts at 2:30 p.m. (gates open at noon), with special appearances by Motown Tribute Band "The Voices," The Kimo Williams Band, and ARRA. The evening headliner is Grammy Award, ACM and CMA winner Ronnie Dunn (formerly of Brooks and Dunn), who takes 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.

"We are proud to participate in this worthwhile effort, and we look forward to meeting with veterans and their families to teach them how College of DuPage can ease them back into school and civilian life," Mencacci said.

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 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 Veterans Counseling certificate (the first of its kind in Illinois) began in fall 2012. Details about the certificate are available by calling the Human Services program at (630) 942-2103 or (630) 942-2043.

For more information about services provided for veterans at COD, visit www.cod.edu/admission/veterans. For more information about Rockin' for the Troops and to purchase tickets, visit http://osotamerica.wix.com/rockin-2013.

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