St. George Vet Center aims to be ‘ground zero’ for local veterans

The Vet Center of Washington County opens the St. George Vet Center, at 1664 S. Dixie Drive #C-102, in the center known as "The Commons," St. George, Utah, Sept. 21, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – As war rages on throughout the world, veterans returning from battle are learning their challenges are not over. A significant amount of veterans are returning home with post-traumatic stress disorder, and a large amount of these result in divorce, isolation and even suicide.

Despite the rising toll of war, there are things we can do on the home front to help these veterans and their loved ones. The Vet Center of Washington County, also called the St. George Vet Center, celebrated its grand opening on Friday. The aim of the center is to provide counseling services to the St. George area, which is comprised of approximately 40 percent veterans.

The services at the Vet Center are available only to veterans who have served in an active combat theater of operations, readjustment counselor Bruce Solomon stated in comment to this article, with the only exception being veterans who are victims of Military Sexual Trauma also known as MST. The partners, spouses, children, and family members of the combat veteran are also able to receive the full services of the Vet Center.

Non-combat veterans can receive counseling services at the Community-based Outpatient Clinic at 1067 E Tabernacle, Suite 7, in St. George.

“We will meet with veterans at the Vet Center on a provisional basis,” Solomon stated in his comment, “to determine their eligibility for continued treatment.”

The center has licensed and trained counselors who also have armed forces experience, so they understand clients’ situations firsthand.

“There are services here for every group,” Solomon said. “I want this to be ground zero for veteran activities.”

Counselors emphasize the confidentiality of the center, and although they are associated with other VA facilities, the only people who have access to records are the counselors and the clients. This way, those seeking help and support do not need to worry about it affecting their eligibility for promotions or their status in their respective units; they can simply get worry-free help with PTSD and other combat-related psychological conditions.

Veterans, families of veterans, and members of the community who know veterans are all encouraged to help and support those returning from combat to readjust to civilian life. Being aware of professional help to offer is essential for those who want to help, but may not understand how.

“Seeking out help is not a sign of weakness, but it is a sign of strength and courage.” Team leader Tim Adams said. “In battle courage meant risking my life for my country, and when I return home courage means asking for help.”

The biggest step is asking for help, and knowing St. George has resources available, with professional care, is that help that veterans and their families need. Be sensitive to their past, and help them move strongly into their future.

The St. George Vet Center is located at 1664 S. Dixie Dr. Suite C-102. They can also be reached by phone at 435-673-4494. A mobile vet center (MVC) is also available to aid the community that is fitted with communication and support equipment.

Please enjoy our Photo Gallery of the Grand Opening:

Members of the Patriot Guard Riders of Southern Utah, L to R shown are John Langdon, Dale Moore and Miles Kimberley, vets and others enjoy barbecue at the grand opening of the St. George Vet Center, St. George, Utah, Sept. 21, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News
Members of the Patriot Guard Riders of Southern Utah and the Mobile Vet Center at the grand opening of the St. George Vet Center, St. George, Utah, Sept. 21, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News
Canyon Media’s Carl Lamar (L) with St. George Vet Center team leader Tim Adams (R) at the grand opening of the St. George Vet Center, St. George, Utah, Sept. 21, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News
Grand opening of the St. George Vet Center, St. George, Utah, Sept. 21, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News
Judy Halford (shown) and Dian Hammeren deliver a duet of “Dixie Can-Dos” at the grand opening of the St. George Vet Center, St. George, Utah, Sept. 21, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News
Grand opening of the St. George Vet Center, St. George, Utah, Sept. 21, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News
Dian Hammeren (shown) and Judy Halford deliver a duet of “Dixie Can-Dos” at the grand opening of the St. George Vet Center, St. George, Utah, Sept. 21, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News
The Vet Center of Washington County opens the St. George Vet Center, at 1664 S. Dixie Drive #C-102, in the center known as “The Commons,” St. George, Utah, Sept. 21, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News

REVISED –  Sept. 23, 2012 – Readjustment counselor Bruce Solomon of the VA clarified and answered questions raised in the comment thread to this article. The article has accordingly been revised to include Solomon’s clarification and augmentation.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.


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7 Comments

  • Jon Martin September 22, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    A VA hospital should be the next step, it’s about time they build one here. It’s ridiculous the Veterans have to drive up to Salt Lake City to get VA healthcare.

  • ken September 22, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    So is this center just for combat vets? There are some of us who are non-combat vets!

  • D. Riggs September 22, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Ken,

    The Vet Center is a service to ALL veterans by the Department of Veteran Affairs. Much of the counseling in this new vet facility is geared to combat-related issues but counseling services are most certainly available to non-combat vets as well. Please contact Bruce Solomon, MSW at (435) 673-4494 or at email: bruce.solomon@va.gov. Bruce is a Readjustment Counselor and can answer all your questions.

    Veterans of all backgrounds are entitled to, and deserve, all the help they need to get readjusted back into non-military society. I strongly suggest that you take advantage of your rights as a veteran.

  • ken September 23, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Thanks D. Riggs!

  • Bruce Solomon September 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Let me clear up a couple of things. First, the St. George Vet Center IS the Washington County Vet Center. Second, the services at the Vet Center are available ONLY to veterans who have served in an active combat theater of operations with the ONLY exception being veterans who are victims of Military Sexual Trauma (MST). The partners, spouses, children, and family members of the combat veteran are also able to receive the full services of the Vet Center.

    Non-combat veterans can receive counseling services at the Community-based Outpatient Clinic on Tabernacle Street. We will meet with veterans at the Vet Center on a provisional basis to determine their eligibility for continued treatment.

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic September 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      Thank you Mr. Solomon for the clarification and the answers to questions raised. Our article has been revised both in the clarification and to include your contribution.

  • MSGT B. Snow USAF Ret. March 19, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    How about the veterans during the cold war and after? We held the keys and codes to our Nations nuclear weapons! Have you ever had the resonsibility or Security Clearance to work with these codes. I know its a lot different from personal combat, but for a moment think about us, unseen, as we loaded and armed our Nuc’s and at the same time prayed they would nevert be used. We had guns, too, only they were pointed at our heads, by our very own, every time we climbed into a cockpit of a nuclear armed aircraft!

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