VA dished out information about job opportunities and health-care programs to thousands attending a culinary competition for military chefs, part of the annual Barracks Row Fall Festival held Sept. 26 in Washington, D.C.

The VA’s Veteran Employment Services Office (VESO) offered resources to help Veterans apply for jobs at the VA, while staff from Veterans Health Administration (VHA) provided a variety of information on its multitude of programs, including mental health programs such as suicide prevention and its Veterans Crisis Line, as well as women’s health care, patient care, nutrition services and weight management.

VA participated in 15th annual Barracks Row Fall Festival in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 26 to share resources about employment opportunities and healthier lifestyle information with Veterans who attended the popular event, which includes a cooking competition for military chefs. (Photo courtesy Military Hospitality Association)

VA participated in 15th annual Barracks Row Fall Festival in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 26 to share resources about employment opportunities and healthier lifestyle information with Veterans who attended the popular event, which includes a cooking competition for military chefs. Photo courtesy Military Hospitality Association.

Although the festival at Marine Barracks attracts thousands of Washingtonians each year, VA organizers said the Military Hospitality Alliance’s 12th Culinary Competition also was a big draw for many active-duty Servicemembers, Veterans and their families — an ideal audience for VA.

“The military-style cooking contest was a great venue to share resources about VESO,” said Sonya Harris-Ladjevich, one of the organization’s Veteran employment specialists who attended the event. “Our brochures and fliers provided details on how to prepare competitive application packages to apply for employment within the VA. It is always rewarding to join forces with our VHA partner to serve our Veteran community.”

Back on the hot seat, more than 12 chef teams from organizations as varied as the White House, Pentagon, Camp David, Air Force One and each of the service branches competed for cash prizes. A Navy enlisted team earned first place, winning $1,000; second place and $500 went to a U.S. Coast Guard team; and a combination Army-Navy chef team captured third place and $250.

Veterans or hiring managers desiring more information about VESO should visit http://vaforvets.va.gov/ or call 855-824-8387. For information about VHA’s Office of Patient Care Services, visit http://www.patientcare.va.gov/ or call 202-461-7800.


About the author:  William Outlaw is a communications manager for the Veterans Health Administration’s Patient Care Services program.

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Published on Oct. 3, 2015

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