published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
AP provides space for veteran's counciling program
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
AVON PARK -- A new military veteran service will come to Avon Park to provide readjustment counseling for veterans returning from combat or war zones.
Jesse Coulter, of the Department of Veteran's Affairs and director of the Lakeland Vet Center, said the mission of the new Vet Center program is to actively reach out into the community - provide counseling for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or sexual trauma; grief counseling for bereaved military families; and assisting veterans in obtaining benefits.
"Twenty-two vets die by suicide every day," Coulter told the council. "In Sebring there are 80 vets on the waiting list for help with PTSD.
"A Vet Center is a place where men and women can talk," Coulter said. "I've seen miracles -- lives and marriages saved. Currently they have to travel to Lakeland."
Which was why Coulter asked the council to provide free space to the program on a part-time basis.
Council members were quick to respond.
"I'm wholly in favor of the project," Parke Sutherland said.
Mayor Sharon Schuler agreed. "I can't think of any better way to use our property than helping our vets," she said.
After a brief discussion covering insurance, the members voted unanimously to provide use of the former code enforcement offices for the Vet Center satellite.
The program is open to all war zone veterans with military campaign service or expeditionary medal, from World War II forward.
For more information call the Lakeland Vet Center at (863) 284-0841 or 1-877-WAR-VETS, or Coulter at (863) 284-0841.
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