Meet the veteran working to turn online community into an offline reality

Matt Saintsing
June 20, 2018 - 4:03 pm

Photo courtesy of Hether Zeckser

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When Hether Zeckser turned 30 in December, she made the personal commitment to try and make a difference in the veteran scene. As a Marine Corps veteran herself, Zeckser was heartened by the community and support she saw proudly on display online, but felt it was lacking in the “real world.” 

So, in January, Zeckser started the Facebook group Vets Get Together with the goal of replicating the camaraderie, support, and resources easily found online into an in person event where vets of any background can come together to share experiences, laughs, hardships, and maybe even a beer or two.

“The more I got involved with the veteran community, the more I realized the disconnect,” says Zeckser. “The really big disconnect between online and in person, there wasn’t much variety in real time.”

Vets Get Together is already a 756+ member strong closed Facebook group, but Zeckser says anyone can join in on the fun.

The idea is simple: start an internet following and eventually provide a “physical space” to hang out. “I see an opportunity to take the active online community and give them a place to meet up and actually meet each other face to face,” says Zeckser. 

“And I see these rather empty American Legion buildings, it’s an opportunity to reengage.” 

On August 11 and 12, Vets Get Together will host what Zeckser calls her first “VetTogether,” a first of its ind meet-up event in Saginaw, MI to connect veterans with resources and vendors at a fun, family-friendly event. 

The VetTogether will be held at 241 South Graham Road Saqinaw, MI at Veterans Corner, a veteran-owned antique store that agreed to put up some classic and antique guns for sale. 

Veterans, caregivers and families are encouraged to attend the free event. It’s also open to the public, so you don’t have to be a veteran. 

Zeckser is in partnership with 0Duck30, a waterfowl hunting group for veterans, to bring the following vendors to the event: Bubba’s Custom Calls; Marine Corps League; Homes for Heroes; New Executive Mortgage; Demsky Sporting Goods; LulaRoe; Color Street Custom Nail Design

There’ll also be food and family fun, a raffle, and attendees are encouraged to check out the guns and antiques for sale on site. 

Zeckser says donations are welcome, either cash or waterfowl hunting supplies. 

When asked why connecting veterans with real-world resources is important to her, she said “It’s a lonely world, and you have to fight for community.” 

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