DETROIT -

Thousands of military veterans are in Detroit this week for a first-of-its-kind gathering designed to help America's warriors on a number of fronts.

A downtown convention hall is the site of three events: a job fair, a small business conference and an open house.

The job fair got under way Tuesday, and according to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs official Mary Santiago it's "the largest hiring event that the VA has ever done."

Santiago said the free "VA for Vets Hiring Fair" features 230 employers and 25,000 job openings.

More than 7,000 veterans pre-registered.

Army Staff Sgt. Michael Burton was one of the first through the doors.

The 40-year-old Detroiter is set to retire from the military in 45 days and is looking for work in the automotive field.