Vet center visits SDSU

by David Hernandez

On Thursday, the San Diego County Mobile Vet Center pulled up on campus to offer resources to San Diego State veterans.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the 38-foot recreational vehicle offered information regarding veteran benefits and services. Vet Center services help veterans and families cope with other long deployments and operations, in addition to readjustment stress.

“SDSU reaches out throughout the year through the SDSU Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center and psychological and counseling services, and we want to join with that effort to reach the whole campus,” readjustment counseling therapist and SDSU alumnus Randal Wittry said.

Readjustment counselors from San Diego, San Marcos and Chula Vista Veteran Centers were available to answer questions. Advisers from the Veterans Benefits Administration and Veterans Health Administration provided information on available programs.

Wittry said approximately 40 percent of Vet Center staff is made up of combat veterans and 20 percent served in peacetime.

“For whatever hardship… that is related to service on deployment or on a combat zone, there are experts, people that have been there, that can help veterans reconnect with their strengths to turn their experiences into wisdom,” Wittry said.

Economics senior Brady Bastian, who served in the 82nd Airborne Division in Baghdad, said it’s important to have services such as those provided by the Vet Center that help veterans readjust to civilian life.

March marks the 10th anniversary of the Iraq war. Witty said there has been a tremendous downsize in military presence and there is a much greater need today for services as veterans return home.

There are 300 vet centers and 70 mobile vet centers in the nation. Veterans and families who wish to talk about their military experience, readjustment to civilian life or other concerns can call 1-877-WAR-VETS.