Vet Centers of America Search by ZIP CODE

There are more than 300 Vet Centers across the United States and U.S. Territories whose primary function is to help veterans and their families adjust to civilian life after combat.

Vet Centers help overwhelmed VA hospitals by providing Veterans with valuable services such as counseling for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Military Sexual Trauma, bereavement counseling, marriage and family counseling, and resources like VA benefits information and suicide prevention referrals.

To search by zip code for a Vet Center in your area click here

If you do not find a Vet Center near you, check out the Mobile Vet Centers.  There are 50 motorized vehicles – resembling super-sized recreational vehicles – that are driven to far-reaching rural areas as part of an “On the Road” outreach program

Hidden Wounds Provides Relief for Combat Stress Faster than VA

The mission of Hidden Wounds is to provide peace of mind and comfort for military personnel suffering from combat stress injuries such as PTSD and TBI until the Veteran’s Administration or Veteran’s Affairs agencies can deliver long-term services to their clients through government programs.

Hidden Wounds was formed in response to a tragedy involving its founder, Anna Bigham.  Anna’s brother, Lance Corporal Mills Palmer Bigham, served four years of active duty for the United States Marine Corps.

Lcpl Bigham served two tours of duty in Iraq with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Regiment.  He was released on October 18, 2008, with an honorable discharge and new rank, Combat Veteran.

Immediately, Anna recognized her brother was not the same young man she once knew.  Lcpl Bigham sought treatment for war trauma, depression, and anger through numerous trips to the local VA hospital. He was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), however he was not given the treatment he deserved.  Anna made countless phone calls to check on his status for receiving those services, but each time there was very little to no response.

Anna supported her brother, battled for the right of his treatment, and cared for him during the long and horrific nights. It was too little, and too late. Mills took his own life waiting for those services on October 19, 2009.

Here is a description of the services provided by Hidden Wounds according to their Facebook Page

-Interim Counseling
Our main thrust is to provide counseling to soldiers who are in the enrollment process at the VA, or other agencies, or system of services, but who are waiting for confirmation of availability and treatment needs. These services are available until such time as the client is finally taken into the care of the VA, or alternate agencies.

-Emergency Counseling
Referring agencies too overwhelmed to respond, and families who are suddenly faced with a crisis situation, are invited to call Hidden Wounds. Our goal is to find a counselor in our network that could respond immediately to defuse the situation. From there, Hidden Wounds, works to find a properly equipped place for the veteran to safely stay until the crisis is passed, danger is contained and further treatment can be instituted.

-Family Support
Hidden Wounds provides resource materials and information to help family members of PTSD victims deal with their concerns and knowledgably support their veteran.

-VA Strategies
Hidden Wounds can provide strategic counseling services to support the Veterans Administration in the areas of intake, assignment of benefits, required paperwork, navigating a network of personnel, and other support advice while dealing with the VA

Contact Info:

Email Address: info@hiddenwounds.org
Mailing Address: Hidden Wounds
7001 St Andrews Road PMB 323
Columbia, S.C. 29212
1-888-4HW-HERO

Description:501c3 non profit organization
General Information

1-888-4HW-HERO or 803-403-8460

Related Article: Veterans Step Forward to Report Retaliation for Whistleblowing and Lack of Support Services read more>>

Related Post: The Million Veteran March on the VA read more>>

Vacations for Veterans Provides Free Lodging for OIF/OEF Purple Heart Recipients

Nearly 45,000 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans have been awarded the Purple Heart, and one non-profit group has found an amazing way to say “Thank You” to those honored veterans.

Since 2007, Vacations for Veterans has been providing 7 days of free lodging to wounded Purple Heart recipients.  Hundreds of vacation home and time share owners in the United States, have generously donated the use of their getaway spot in support of this program.

Vacations for Veterans became so popular in 2011, that they had to start booking for 2012.  Anyone who knows a wounded Purple Heart recipient that deserves a break, please share this program with them.

People interested in donating use of their homes,  timeshares, money or time can do so here:

 

 

Veterans Connection for Help & Healing from Real Veterans

Maketheconnection.net connects Veterans and their friends and family members with information, resources, and solutions to issues affecting their health, well-being, and everyday lives.

Visit Maketheconnection.net to hear inspiring stories of strength. Learn what has worked for other Veterans, and discover positive steps that you can take after military service—all in the words of Veterans just like you.

View in-depth stories and testimonials of strength and connection as real Veterans recount their paths from joining the military to facing adversity, reaching out, and moving toward resilience and recovery.

Connect and discuss topics like anger and irritability, alcohol abuse, drug problems, flashbacks, headaches, nightmares, guilt, gambling, PTSD, Military Sexual Trauma, chronic pain, confusion, feeling on edge, and feelings of hopelessness…..

Connect by Life Events:

Explore life events or experiences that you can relate to and get information, stories, and resources for support.

Win Your VA Claim – VA Disability Claim 10 Steps to Help

I have another fantastic resource to share with frustrated veterans.  How many veterans are familiar with, and have access to: VA Laws, VA Codes, and VA Manuals?  What if I gave every veteran a single link in this article where they could find 7 valuable law, code, and manual resources.  What if that link included detailed explanations of how all of these laws and codes affect a disability claim?

10 Steps toward Winning a VA Disability Claim:

  1. Get competent representation. Be picky, interview several reps until you locate one that you feel confident with.
  2. Send the required SF-180 form to request COMPLETE copies of military service files (including medical & personnel), a 2nd SF-180 form to request updating of Awards & Decorations, and a 3rd SF-180 form requesting a DD-214 if needed.
  3. Make a list and request copies of all Medical files from private physicians and hospitals.
  4. Request a copy of your Units History & lineage from the appropriate archive.
  5. Keep a file of all correspondence (make sure to staple the envelope to the letter for postmark date) with the VA; note received date in your logbook with a brief description.
  6. Keep copies of everything you send to the VA, do not send originals unless required.
  7. Never send documentation or requests directly to the VA. Always route through your rep as he/she should be keeping a log of information received and sent to VA dates.
  8. Use the sources of information and links from this website.
  9. There are no stupid questions, check the FAQ’s first, then ask for help.
  10. Follow the guidelines laid out on the website HadIt.com and follow through with backup for everything.

Severely Injured OIF Guardsmen and Reservists Now Eligible for Retroactive TSGLI Payments

TSGLI Eligibility Expands:

Effective Oct. 1, 2011 the VA will begin making retroactive payments to service members who suffered severe injuries outside a combat theater between Oct. 7, 2001, and Nov. 30, 2005, to include Guardsmen and Reservists.

The VA is encouraging those who were previously denied coverage—but believe they qualify—to resubmit their claims.  To see if you qualify, Click here:

TSGLI Retroactive Benefits – Are You Eligible?

The benefit ranges from $25,000 to $100,000 for the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program, or TSGLI.  The VFW along with the (then) newly created Wounded Warrior Project were the only veterans’ organizations supporting the creation of this benefit back in 2005.

It went from bill to law in 28 days.

By the summer of 2006, 150,000 soldiers of the Army National Guard
had served in Iraq. Thousands more reservists of all the services have
served there and in Afghanistan.

This VFW Publication is a tribute to their sacrifices.


Veterans to Receive Housing Stipend for Online Classes

 $673 Housing Stipend Now Available to Online Students

Effective October 1, 2011, the Post-9/11 GI Bill pays a housing stipend to students enrolled solely in online classes. The stipend is half the national average of BAH for an E–5 with dependents – $673.50 per month for 2011.

In addition, the Post-9/11 GI Bill provides up to 100% Coverage of Tuition and Fees.

Take the next step and find schools with VA Approved Programs – It is important to compare schools to find the one that best meets your specific needs.


Find Schools with VA Approved Programs

Specific questions?  Try GiBill.com

The VFW is scheduled to testify before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management to discuss persistent problems with accountability of G.I. Bill and military Tuition Assistance funds. VFW played a key role in passing the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill in 2008. However, since the benefit took effect in 2009, the VFW has learned of rampant impropriety among certain institutions of higher learning seeking to exploit veterans for financial gain.

Recently, the VFW sent letters to several key committees in the House and Senate, expressing concern over the issue and calling for regulatory action. Details on the hearing, including a link to a live video feed, will be available later this week on the VFW Capitol Hill blog, http://www.vfwonthehill.org.