The Veterans of Foreign Wars state convention returns to Tucson, Thursday, for the first time in 12 years.

Over 300 veterans will head to Loews Ventana Canyon Resort for the four-day convention that will elect the organization’s next state leaders.

But the event also serves as an opportunity for veterans to come together.

We do these things because we have brothers and sisters that didn’t come home, and their dreams ended…their dreams ended. And it’s on us to kind of remember the fact that that they gave their all and that their families are still here, said Bill Schaeffler, state commander of the VFW.

Gregory Harrell has been around the VFW his entire life.

But in the last 10 years, he made the decision to push for change within the VFW

“The way to do that was to take a positive role in leadership and make changes for the good of everybody,” says Harrell, “we have to fight for benefits, get our veterans off the street, get our families fed, stop suicide, find out what those triggers are. And we got to make a difference.”

Guests at the event are expected to include Mayor Regina Romero as well as representatives from congressman Juan Ciscomani’s office.