Serving those who serve the nation: Mobile Vet Center visits UIS
According to the United States Census Bureau there are 16,074 military veterans in Sangamon County alone and nearly 770,388 in the state of Illinois, several of which call UIS home. In order to accommodate those who served and continue to serve, the UIS Veteran Affairs office coordinated a Mobile Vet Center outside of LRH Feb. 13 from 9-4:30.
Traveling and servicing the entire state of Illinois, eastern Missouri, southeast Iowa and northwest Indiana, the Springfield based Mobile Vet Center offers veterans and their families outreach services in a convenient manner. These services include professional readjustment, PTSD, drug and alcohol, job, individual, couples, family, group and bereavement counseling and referrals.
It is the mission of the Veterans Center to provide the best assistance possible to the veterans of the UIS student community. They believe that these students are a vital part of the community and want to assist in any way possible to ensure that their educational goals are met. This works hand in hand with the 1979 Congressional establishment of Vet Centers to service Vietnam-era combat veterans and current combat veterans. According to the Government Vet Center there are 300 Vet Centers and 50 Mobile Vet Centers throughout the U.S. and its territories.
According to John A. Mizer, Outreach Technician for the Mobile Vet Center, UIS Alumnus and a former Marine, this mobile service is an added benefit for service members and that it makes the process easier for those who choose to or need to take advantage of these services. He added that while the Mobile Vet Center was on the UIS campus, a number of veterans did come throughout the day to take advantage of the services offered that might not have done so otherwise.
The services provided are focused around allowing veterans to reach a level of normalcy immediately following or years after their service. These centers are looked at as a place of action with professional and expert level trauma counselors who are skilled in veteran affairs. In addition to this, the United States Department of Veteran Affairs reports that as the need for further veteran services grows, so will the services provided in order to meet their mission of President Lincoln’s promise, “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for is widow, and his orphan.”