Open house to celebrate 40th anniversary of VA Vet Center program

In this 2018 file photo, dozens of veterans and members of the community gather at Tonaquint Cemetery to commemorate the day Pearl Harbor was attacked, St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2018 | File photo by Andrew Pinckney, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Veterans Affairs Vet Center program, the St. George Vet Center will be one of 300 vet centers across the country to hold an open house featuring refreshments and information on veteran services. The St. George Vet Center open house will take place Tuesday from 4-8 p.m.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website, Public Law 96-22, which was signed June 13, 1979, established the Vet Center program in response to Vietnam combat and era veterans not accessing VA services at the same levels as Korean and World War II veterans.

The department describes the vet centers as “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 – whether individual, group, marriage or family counseling – is offered to make a successful transition from military to civilian life or after a traumatic event experienced in the military. Vet center counselors and outreach staff are often veterans themselves and are experienced and prepared to discuss the tragedies of war, loss, grief and transition after trauma.

According to a press release for Tuesday’s event, the St. George Vet Center offers a full range of mental health services for both veterans and families, from one-on-one to group services. Additional services include benefits counseling and outreach to rural veterans of Utah.

The St. George Vet Center is located at 1664 S. Dixie Drive, Ste. C-102. For more information on the open house or services offered by the center, contact the office at 435-673-4494 or Thomas Lamb at 801-946-1667.

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