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Mobile Vet Center Offers Aid/Information for Local Veterans

John Berentz, MSW, Readjustment Counseling Technician from the Pueblo Vet Center was in Lamar last week, headquartered in the VA’s mobile center at the northwest corner of Walmart’s parking lot. The trailer was in Lamar Thursday and Friday, August 30th and 31st by invitation of the Prowers County Veterans Service Officer, Gary Harbert.   Vet Center staff was on hand to provide information about the services and other resources that may benefit area veterans.

Mobile Vet Center

Berentz explained the function and purpose of the Mobile Vet Center. “There are two in the state and my mobile unit operates between Utah and Kansas south of Interstate 70.  The other one is used in the northern section of the state and services a portion of Wyoming.”  He said he’s on the road for about three days out of the week, traveling to service areas of Colorado as needed.

“We don’t always use the mobile unit. For a while it was sent to Houston to help out after the hurricane there.  We can still function if we’re in a tent, but the purpose is to get out information about the services provided to area veterans.”  Berentz said he also conducts counseling services from the mobile center.  “The county VA representatives can provide information about medical health, schooling and forms the vets needed.  We don’t get into medical issues as our focus is on readjustment counseling.  We work with the effects of PTSD, anxiety, depression and anger issues from the mobile center.”

Right now, Berentz is conducting an assessment of the number of veterans in the area and what their future counseling needs may require. “We estimate there are about 1,200 veterans in our southeast Colorado area.  For the two days that we’re here, we hope to make them aware of our presence and to be able to set up some schedules for future counseling.”

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. Vet Centers are community based and part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The goal of the Vet Center program is to provide a broad range of counseling, outreach, and referral services to eligible service members, veterans, and their families in order to help them make a satisfying post-war readjustment to civilian life. For more information, please visit http://www.vetcenter.va.gov/

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarCountyFeaturedHealthPublic SafetyTransportation

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