Veterans in Southern Maryland who are making the transition from military to civilian life can always use a little help. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs knows that life is not always easy after a deployment. That is why the department wants to provide assistance and make it as convenient as possible for veterans and their families to access a broad range of counseling, outreach and referral services.
The VA provides mobile vet centers that bring those services to the vets in their communities. Like community-based vet centers, the mobile centers focus on services that help veterans adjust to life outside of military service.
“I would encourage local veterans who need help to take advantage of the mobile center's visit,'” said Robert T. Henry, the College of Southern Maryland's veterans affairs coordinator and a U.S. Navy retiree. “At a recent roundtable discussion at the college on veteran issues some of the vets in attendance expressed some dissatisfaction with services they had received by phone and the time spent on hold, hours in some cases. However, one veteran described how different the experience was when he met with someone face- to-face.”
The mobile vet center will make two stops in Southern Maryland in September to provide readjustment counseling and information resources to veterans in the region.
The first stop will be at the CSM La Plata Campus at 8730 Mitchell Road in La Plata from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 13. Another stop will be at the CSM Leonardtown Campus at 22950 Hollywood Road in Leonardtown from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 14.
The mobile vet center will not stop at the Prince Frederick Campus, but a VA center outreach coordinator will be on the campus at 115 J.W. Williams Road in Prince Frederick from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 29 in the Flagship Building A, Room 101F.
The mobile vet centers are set up to guide veterans and their families through many of the major adjustments in their lifestyle that often occur after a veteran returns from combat. Services for a veteran might include individual and group counseling in areas such as post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol and drug assessment, and suicide prevention referrals.
All counseling services are provided free of charge and are strictly confidential.
Vet centers served 219,509 veterans, service members and military families in fiscal 2015 and provided 1,663,011 no-cost visits for readjustment counseling, military sexual trauma counseling and bereavement counseling services, according to the VA.
The VA estimates there are 422,282 veterans living in Maryland; nearly 42,000 of them reside in the tri-county area.
For more information, visit http://www.vetcenter.va.gov/.
For information about veteran and military support services at CSM, visit http://www.csmd.edu/student-services/veteran-military-support-services/.
Mobile Vet Center Visit to CSM La Plata Campus, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 13. College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. Department of Veterans Affairs will provide counseling, outreach and referral services to veterans. Free and confidential. Visit http://www.vetcenter.va.gov/.
Mobile Vet Center Visit to CSM Leonardtown Campus, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 14. College of Southern Maryland, Leonardtown Campus, 22950 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown. Department of Veterans Affairs will provide counseling, outreach and referral services to veterans. Free and confidential. Visit http://www.vetcenter.va.gov/.
VA Vet Center Outreach at CSM Prince Frederick Campus, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 29. College of Southern Maryland, Prince Frederick Campus, Flagship Building A, Room 101F, 115 J.W. Williams Road, Prince Frederick. Department of Veterans Affairs outreach coordinator will be on campus to provide counseling, outreach and referral services to veterans. Free and confidential. Visit http://www.vetcenter.va.gov/.