The Vet Center program was established by Congress in 1979 out
of recognition that
a significant number of
Vietnam Era veterans were experiencing
Vet centers are community-based and are part of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Congress later extended this
service to those who served during any war period, from World War II to the current conflicts.
The goal of the Vet Center program is to provide a broad range of counseling, outreach and referral services to
eligible veterans to help them make a satisfying postwar readjustment to civilian life.
The Vet Center staff respect the privacy of all veterans and holds in strictest confidence all information disclosed in
the counseling process.
Family members of combat veterans have been eligible for Vet Center readjustment counseling services for
military-related issues since 1979.
Readjustment counseling encompasses a wide range of services, including individual counseling, group counseling,marital and family counseling, bereavement counseling, military sexual trauma counseling and referral. Services also
include employment counseling and guidance, medical referrals, alcohol and drug assessments, assistance in applying for
VA benefits, information and referral to community resources, outreach and community education.
Military sexual trauma counseling may include individual or group counseling, marital and family counseling and
referral for benefits assistance, liaison with community agencies and/or substance abuse information. It also helps
with referral to help veterans deal with the emotions of military sexual trauma and to regain confidence in their
Richard Schleeter is the veterans service officer for the La Plata County Veterans Service Office. He can be reached at