New veterans centers slated for 27 states, plus American Samoa
Published: August 24, 2009
Catching up on a few bits of news that I missed last week, VA officials announced plans to build 28 news veterans centers nationwide in a bid to get mental health counseling and resources to more individuals who may be returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder.
The VA already has 232 such centers -- one in at least every state -- offering services like employment counseling, family support, and bereavement programs. Experts are also available for more serious problems like sexual assault counseling and mental health services.
In a statement last week, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said the 28 new centers will help address the "growing need" for those more serious issues. All are expected to be build and begin operations in 2010.
The new centers, like the already-existing ones, will be staffed by teams of social workers, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, masters-level counselors and outreach specialists. According to the VA, more than 70 percent of center employees are veterans themselves, and a majority of those have served in combat zones.
Center services are available to veterans who served in a combat zone or area of hostility, and are provided at no cost to veterans or their families.
Here's the areas where the new centers are set to cover:
Arizona -- Mohave and Yuma Counties
California -- San Luis Obispo County
Delaware Sussex County
Florida Marion, Lake, Collier, Okaloosa and Bay Counties
Georgia Muscogee and Richmond Counties
Hawaii Western Oahu
Indiana St. Joseph County
Louisiana Rapides Parish
Michigan Grand Traverse and Wexford Counties
Missouri Boone County
Montana Cascade and Flathead Counties
Ohio Stark County
Oregon Deschutes County
Pennsylvania Lancaster County
South Carolina Horry County
Texas Jefferson and Taylor Counties
Utah Washington County
Washington Walla Walla County (and Umatilla County in Oregon)
Wisconsin LaCrosse and Monroe Counties
[PHOTO: Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center]