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Veterans Resource Center to hold grand opening for expansion

A Veterans Administration representative walks a local veteran through the benefit application process. - Janis Reid / The Record
A Veterans Administration representative walks a local veteran through the benefit application process.
— image credit: Janis Reid / The Record

The Veterans Resource Center’s grand re-opening Saturday will mark an expansion in resources for the Island’s military service community.

The general public is invited to attend an open house 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, in their new location at American Legion Post 141 in Bayview, 14096 Highway 525.

The Veterans Resource Center provides “a safe portal through which the returning combat veteran can build resiliency, increase access to and use internal and external resources, and reintegrate into family and community life,” according to their mission statement.

“We network with existing veteran service organizations, community groups and churches to reach out to veterans and their families in need.”

Moving forward the center will expand its programs through collaboration with several organizations to provide information, referrals and applications for VA benefits.

Starting this month, an on-site Island County Veterans Services Coordinator and the Opportunity Council Housing Coordinator will be available at the center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Thursday.

In addition, Peer Support Groups will meet two evenings each week, 5 p.m. Mondays for women, and 5 p.m. Tuesdays for men and women.

“Veterans from all military engagements live on Whidbey Island,” said Patty Houts-Hussey with the Whidbey Veterans Resource Center. “Many veterans and their families do not know about or how to receive the benefits to which they are entitled and need.”

Houts-Hussey added that at least 22 veterans commit suicide every day and young male veterans under the age of 30 are at higher risk and may need additional assistance transitioning.

“We hope all will be able to join with us as we continue our support to men, women, and families having served in all areas of the military,” Houts-Hussey said.

The Veterans Resource Center is a non-profit tax-exempt charity and a Washington State educational and charitable corporation. Its mission is to promote community-based efforts to mitigate the effects of war on veterans, their families and communities, according to its website.

As a community-supported veterans’ service organization, the VRC aims to provide advocacy, outreach, resource development, emotional and social support, and public education regarding “healing the invisible effects of war.”

For more information visit www.whidbeyvrc.org, email whidbeyvrc@gmail.com or call 360-331-8081.

 

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