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Vet Center effort gaining traction in Jasper County

Published: Monday, May 13, 2013 11:52 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, May 13, 2013 6:20 p.m. CDT

Jasper County Veterans Affairs Director Chris Chartier announced late last week that interest in bringing the Vet Center services to Newton is strong enough to warrant serious consideration.

“Based on the level of interest at Wednesday’s Vet Center informational meeting this week, as well as participants expressing the importance of having such a program locally, the Vet Center staff would like to hold an additional informational meeting in Newton,” he said. “It will be held in the first-floor conference room of the County Annex Building on May 20th at 5 p.m.”

The Vet Center is the component of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs responsible for providing readjustment counseling to returning war veterans, including federally activated members of the Reserves and National Guard. Readjustment counseling is a wide range of psycho-social services offered to eligible veterans and their families in the effort to make a successful transition from military to civilian life, including:

• Individual and group counseling for Veterans and their families

• Family counseling for military related issues

• Bereavement counseling for families who experience an active duty death

• Military sexual trauma counseling and referral

• Substance abuse assessment and referral

• Employment assessment & referral

* VBA benefits explanation and referral

* Screening & referral for medical issues including TBI, depression, etc.

The VA’s readjustment counseling is provided at community-based Vet Centers located near veterans and their families. All Vet Center services are prepaid through military service. Upon request, the Vet Center can offer non-traditional appointment schedules, after normal business hours during the week and on weekends, to accommodate working veterans and family members.

“[The May 20 meeting] will allow interested residents of Jasper County an opportunity to see where the services will be located, provide an additional chance to ask questions regarding the program, and learn about what free services are provided to veterans and their families,” Chartier said. “Although this program is designed for veterans and their families, this is only an informational gathering, and all are welcome to attend and learn more about what services they provide.”

For more information about the Vet Center, call the Jasper County Veterans Affairs office at (641) 792-7993, or VA staff directly at (515) 284-4929.

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