Mobile Vet Center to make local stops

When a Vet Center is miles from your home, it’s a long drive to access its many services.  When those services come to you on wheels, life gets a little more convenient.
The center will be stopping in these towns during the designated times:
•    July 12, Tuesday-De Smet:  9 a.m. – 2 p.m, parked at County Courthouse;
•    July 13, Wednesday-Woonsocket:  9 a.m. – 2 p.m, parked at County Courthouse;
•    July 14, Thursday-Wessington Springs: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., parked at County Courthouse.
The Mobile Vet Centers (MVCs) of the Department of Veterans affairs provide outreach, readjustment counseling and information resources to veterans across the country.  Like the community based Vet Centers, Mobile Vet Centers focus on services that help veterans make the difficult transition between military and civilian life.
Across the country, 70 motorized MVCs are driven to far-reaching rural areas to provide Veterans with services such as counseling for post traumatic stress disorder, military sexual trauma, bereavement, marriage and family, and resources like VA benefits information and suicide prevention.
The South Dakota MVC is based out of the Rapid City Vet Center and has been on the road since May 1, 2009. The primary catchment area is the entire state of South Dakota and the panhandle area of Nebraska. Since being deployed, the MVC has provided services at many different events and places including: Supporting South Dakota National Guard units returning from deployments at Ft. McCoy, Wis., plus attendance at Yellow Ribbon and PDHRA events; colleges and veteran’s organizations throughout the region; Native American Veteran outreach on South Dakota Reservations; Veteran Stand Down events throughout the state; and on-site support for county and tribal Veteran Service Offices. They also supported Army Reserve WAREX annual trainings at Ft. McCoy, Wis., and the South Dakota National Guard’s annual Golden Coyote training.
Mobile Vet units are equipped as “offices on wheels,” with the capacity to provide emergency support for natural disasters. Each motor coach houses a satellite dish that connects to communications and audio-visual equipment, six phone lines, a fax line, notebook computers and four encrypted computer lines.
The Vet Center program was established by Congress in 1979 out of the recognition that a significant number of Vietnam era vets were still experiencing readjustment problems. Over time, Congress extended eligibility to encompass other war-era veterans, but maintained the premise of “combat” veterans. Recent legislation now authorizes Vet Centers to provide readjustment counseling services to certain active duty service members and their families.

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