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Big White RV Brings Mobile Services To Area Vets

Brett Blume
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11/22/11-Congressman John Shimkus, right, visits the Veteran Administration's Mobile Vet Center Tuesday during its stop at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville. (KMOX/Brett Blume)

11/22/11-Congressman John Shimkus, right, visits the Veteran Administration’s Mobile Vet Center Tuesday during its stop at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville. (KMOX/Brett Blume)

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KMOX) –  When ex-military personnel can’t come to them, Veterans Administration officials send out their Mobile Vet Center.

The big, white RV’s latest stop was Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville, where Congressman John Shimkus was among those coming by to check things out.

“It’s a nice operation to help get the V.A. services out as far as possible in rural America,” Shimkus said, noting that this is one of 50 Mobile Vet Centers that criss-cross the country.  “And with the way this is configured, (veterans) could be eight hours away from the nearest V.A. clinic, and they can uplink you to a medical professional for prescriptions.”

img 4735 Big White RV Brings Mobile Services To Area Vets

Justin John Anweiler is a readjustment counselor who meets with military veterans who visit the Mobile Center.

“We do offer trauma counseling, family counseling,” he pointed out. “We don’t necessarily do financial counseling but we can help set that up for them.”

According to a Vetrerans Administration brochure, Congress mandated the establishment of Vet Centers in 1979 as a way of providing readjustment counseling to Vietnam-era combat veterans who were having problems adjusting to post-military life back home.

It was so successful that the program was later expanded to include veterans who served in post-Vietnam conflicts, as well as World War II and the Korean War.

The Mobile Vet Centers also provide services to troops now returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The R.V. currently based in Springfield IL serves the entire state of Illinois, the eastern half of Missouri, as well as parts of Iowa and Indiana.

For more information, contact (877) 927-8387.

Copyright KMOX Radio

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