The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will host open houses during the month of June to commemorate the 40th anniversary of its Vet Centers, which provide readjustment counseling for eligible Veterans, service members and their families.
“Vet Centers have a longstanding legacy of building trust, fostering community and providing confidential counseling, outreach and referral,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “I’m proud to say I’ve seen firsthand how Vet Center staff are changing the lives of those they serve.”
The readjustment counseling program was established by Congress on June 13, 1979, to support the significant number of Vietnam-era Veterans, to include those with combat experience, who were not accessing VA services at the same levels as Korean and World War II Veterans. Public Law 96-22 amended Title 38 USC to establish authority for VA to provide readjustment counseling as a new category of service. The role of this new program was to assist Vietnam Veterans and their families in making the transition from traumatic war-time experiences to civilian life within their home communities.
Today, confidential readjustment counseling services are provided at 300 Vet Centers, 80 Mobile Vet Centers, numerous outstations and access points, as well as 24/7 support through its Call Center. Counselors and outreach staff, many of whom are Veterans themselves, are ready to assist eligible Veterans, active-duty service members, including National Guard and Reserve components, and their families with a range of socioeconomic and psychological services. Individual, group, marriage and family counseling are offered, in addition to referral and connection to other VA or community benefits and services at no charge. Last fiscal year, nearly 300,000 unique Veterans and active duty service members received Vet Center services.
For a complete listing of Vet Center open houses, visit www.vetcenter.va.gov/openhouses.asp.