USA Today features a dismal chart showcasing the increase in veterans seeking medical and other charitable support. The anemic recovery in the private sector, coupled with unprecedented cutbacks in local, state and federal public sector jobs, has left veterans among the highest unemployed in the country. Stir in the glacial processing through the VA for veterans benefits and you’ve got a recipe for disaster, as many veterans struggle simply to stay off the street. One charity that valiantly tries to step in is the Semper Fi Fund. “The need is increasing, people don’t realize (that),” Susan Rocco, eastern-region case director for the fund, tells USA Today. “They think the war is over and there’s no service members in the hospital, so there’s no more need. But it’s our long-term cases that need help forever, and now the returning vets that we find have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and TBI (traumatic brain injury); and many, many, many suicidal situations, which is just a crisis.” Read more.
Determined to help her constituency navigate the maze of veterans agencies, Pennsylvania State Senator Diane Allen (R-7th) recently launched a weekly outreach effort for veterans, service members and their families. Each Wednesday, constituents with a military background can show up from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Joint Military and Family Assistance Center to meet with Allen and her staff. Assemblymen Chris Brown, (R-8th) of Evesham, and Wayne DeAngelo, (D-14th) of Hamilton, and state Sen. James Beach, (D-6th) of Voorhees have been offered access to the space, as well. The office is housed in a renovated National Guard armory building designed to be the first “one-stop shop” for military and veterans services, including issues related to managing money, psychological health counseling, family and warrior support assistance, survivor benefits counseling, and veterans’ services. Read more.
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