Last Thursday, September 8, the Vet Mobile visited the Salt Lake Community College Student Center to let student veterans know of their benefits and to offer counseling services.
Vet Mobile operator Dave Brown was set up outside the parked vehicle from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., to provide fliers about programs for vets and to talk to student veterans about benefits they may be entitled to. Fliers were available telling vets about free counseling at the Veteran’s Center on 1354 East and 3300 South, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) had a brochure about health care benefits, among others.
The Veteran’s Center at the Salt Lake Community College is in cooperation with the Salt Lake Vet Center, which sponsors the Vet Mobile. It is typically scheduled to come to the school four times a year.
“The Vet Mobile is part of United States Veteran’s Affairs. We’re the smallest part of the VA. I’m here to talk about counseling,” Brown said. “We do counseling for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. We also counsel for military sexual trauma, which is becoming more prevalent. We also do grief and bereavement counseling mostly for families who have lost someone.”
“We’re mostly here to help combat veterans adjust to combat experiences. We want vets to know that we are only a phone call away,” Brown said.
Everything the Vet Center does is to help combat vets. It offers peer-to-peer counseling, with many of the counselors also being veterans with combat experience.
Lucas Van Dijkk is a veteran who has served overseas in the Air Force. He is studying business. “I’m not aware of all the benefits, and some are changing. My benefits are helping me,” he said.
The Vet Mobile is community based. It travels all across Utah to inform veterans of their benefits or to offer counseling to vets who live in rural areas, including Kanab, Beaver and Cedar City. If vets can’t get to the VA Hospital, the Vet Mobile will go to them.
“The Veteran’s Center is family oriented, because problems that affect vets also affect the family,” Brown said.
The Vet Center services are free and confidential, because the veteran’s service has already paid for these services.
“The Vet Mobile is a real benefit for veterans. It’s providing information to veterans so they will know there are other services for them,” Darlene Head, Veteran’s Center manager said. “We’re hoping quite a few veterans visit the Vet Mobile. It depends on who’s on campus during the visit.”
Veterans can contact The Utah State Department of Veterans Affairs by phone, at 801-326-2372. The VA Salt Lake City Health Care System is located at 500 Foothill Drive, and their number is 801-582-1565 extension 5246.
To contact the Veteran’s Center, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, call 1-866-644-5371 or visit http://www.vetcenter.va.gov
The Veteran’s Center cannot help veterans who were dishonorably discharged.