VA Vet Center Coming to Everett</A

Feb 7, 2007

 

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman Rick Larsen (D-WA 2nd) today announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has selected Everett, WA for a new Vet Center. VA Vet Centers provide readjustment counseling and outreach services to combat veterans. The Everett Vet Center is scheduled to open in 2008.

"I am pleased that the VA has recognized the needs of the Everett veterans community," said Senator Murray. "Especially now, with the War in Iraq producing more and more veterans who are struggling with PTSD and other mental health issues, it is imperative that veterans have a support system that is close at hand. This center will be a place where veterans can get help finding a job or accessing the support services they have earned."

"Last week, Senator Murray and I were thrilled to hear from the VA that they had approved a community-based outpatient clinic for veterans in Northwest Washington," said Larsen. "Today, we have more good news -- the VA is bringing a new Vet center to Everett.  This center will provide critical resources and support for many veterans in my district, including those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan."

The Everett site selection is part of a VA Vet Center expansion to 23 new communities across the nation over the next two years. VA Vet Centers are staffed by teams of counselors and outreach specialists, many of whom are combat veterans themselves. They provide counseling on mental health and employment, as well as services on family issues, education, and outreach. The vet center program was established by Congress in 1979. 

Veterans who served in combat are eligible for care at a VA vet center at no cost, as are their families for military-related issues. Also eligible are veterans who were sexually assaulted or harassed while on active duty and the families of service members who die on active duty.

Senator Murray visited Everett on August 18th of last year to hold a roundtable discussion with Everett area vets. She heard about their frustrations in accessing services in the area. In August, Larsen also met with Northern Snohomish County veterans to discuss their need for increased services.  Senator Murray, who is a senior member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, has worked hand-in-hand with Congressmen Larsen to improve VA access in Northwest Washington. Just last week, Murray and Larsen announced that the VA has agreed to open a health clinic in Northwest Washington to serve veterans in a five-county area.  That clinic, which will be located in the Mount Vernon area, will also serve the Everett veterans community.

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