Did you serve in a combat zone or area of hostility, experience a military sexual trauma or serve as part of a mortuary affairs or drone crew? If so, you qualify for free community-based counseling at a VA Vet Center, regardless of when you served.
VA and Disabled American Veterans (DAV) talked about this and other topics during an #ExploreVA Facebook Live tour of a VA Vet Center in Alexandria, Virginia May 21. DAV’s Executive Director Garry Augustine and Mike Fisher, VA’s chief officer of Readjustment Counseling Service, led the tour giving an overview of the resources and services available at Vet Centers nationwide.
Vet Centers are community-based counseling centers. They provide individual and group counseling referral services free of charge in a safe and confidential environment. There are 300 brick-and-mortar Vet Centers across the country (including in American Samoa, Guam, and Puerto Rico). There are also 80 Mobile Vet Centers designed to reach those in under-served areas.
During the tour, Augustine and Fisher met the director of the Alexandria Vet Center, Carolyn Harris-Hutchinson.
“Our Vet Center probably sees about 30 to 40 Veterans on average per day. Our counselors see people back-to-back and we have multiple group counseling sessions throughout the week,” said Harris-Hutchinson. “We have walk-ins as well as people who have appointments.” She also pointed out that Vet Centers offer referrals to community-based resources.
Near the end of the tour, Fisher and Augustine visited a Mobile Vet Center to talk about its outreach functions.
“We’re really changing