Vet Centers (Readjustment Counseling)
Who We Are
Vet Centers are community-based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services, including professional readjustment counseling to eligible Veterans, active duty service members, including National Guard and Reserve components, and their families. Readjustment counseling is offered to make a successful transition from military to civilian life or after a traumatic event experienced in the military. Individual, group, marriage and family counseling is offered in addition to referral and connection to other VA or community benefits and services. Vet Center counselors and outreach staff, many of whom are Veterans themselves, are experienced and prepared to discuss the tragedies of war, loss, grief and transition after trauma.
VET CENTER HISTORY
Vet Centers (Readjustment Counseling) were 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. In April 1991, in response to the Persian Gulf War, Congress extended the eligibility to Veterans who served during other periods of armed hostilities after the Vietnam era. Those other periods are identified as Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, the Persian Gulf, Somalia, and Kosovo/Bosnia.
In October 1996, Congress extended the eligibility to include WWII and Korean Combat Veterans. The goal of Vet Centers is to provide a broad range of counseling, outreach, and referral services to eligible Veterans in order to help them make a satisfying post-war readjustment to civilian life. On April 1, 2003, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs extended eligibility for Vet Center services to Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and on June 25, 2003, Vet Center eligibility was extended to Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and subsequent operations within the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).
The family members of all Veterans listed above are eligible for Vet Center services as well. On August 5, 2003, then-VA Secretary Anthony J. Principi authorized Vet Centers to furnish bereavement counseling services to surviving parents, spouses, children and siblings of service members who die of any cause while on active duty, to include federally activated Reserve and National Guard personnel.
We understand, and most of all, we care.