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Vet Centers

VETERANS CORNER

 


Congress established the Vet Center Program in 1979 because a significant number of Vietnam veterans had problems readjusting to civilian life. They are community based, and in some cases (including the one in Fresno), are not even located at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). Through the years, Vet Centers have expanded to cover veterans having served during other operations.

Vet Centers provide a range of services including counseling, outreach and referral services to assist Veterans in their readjustment to post-war life. In August of 2003, the VA authorized bereavement counseling be made available to surviving parents, spouses, children, and siblings of service members who die of any cause while on active duty. This counseling includes federally activated Reserve and National Guard personnel. To request this service, contact the Readjustment Counseling Service (RCS) at 1-202-461-6530 or by email at vetcenter.bereavement@va.gov. They will help you get in touch with the nearest Vet Center.

Because of the vast range of eligibility periods for combat veterans, please contact our office to see if you served in one of the multiple timeframes and areas covered by Vet Center counseling services. They provide counseling to veterans of both sexes and all eras.

The readjustment counseling is designed to assist Veterans and their families in making a successful transition from military to civilian life through:

• Individual and group counseling

• Family counseling for military issues

• Bereavement counseling for families who experience an active duty death

• Military sexual trauma counseling and referral

• Outreach and education including Post-Deployment Health Reassessment (PDHRA), and other community events

• Substance abuse assessment and referral

• Employment assessment and referral

• Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) explanation and referral

• Screening and referral for medical issues

Local support for veterans is provided by the Fresno Vet Center located at 1320 E. Shaw, Suite 125, in Fresno. They can be reached at (559) 487-5660.

Ken Cruickshank, the Veterans Services Officer for Tulare County, is a retired Navy Master Chief Petty Officer. Contact him at the Veterans Services Office at 3350 W. Mineral King Ave., Visalia; by phone at (559) 713-2880; or by email at KCruicks@tularehhsa.org

 

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