The Vet Center hosts outreach event

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Vet Center is hosting an outreach event Thursday at 9 a.m.

The event will be held at the super Walmart in the Moberly area and offer readjustment counseling services from mobile veterans center staff. 

The Columbia Vet Center will provide transportation to Thursday's event and also provides transportation to its center on a daily basis.

Veterans began the Vet Centers in 1979, but the Columbia location opened in 2010. 

Veteran Center Director Nathaniel Withers said that is why the center's employees are dedicated to helping, because they can personally relate.

"This center was started by a small group of veterans and even now, we're all still veterans, that's why we want to help so bad," Withers said.

Outreach Coordinator Mark Johnson said his experience is why he's so passionate about his job.

"I was a combat veteran, so I just love doing the job I do: just helping the veterans get on their feet and just helping out in every way, from counseling to therapy to benefits. Just helping in any way we can," Johnson said.

The centers, located in 38 counties, provide group, family and individual counseling services for veterans, combat veterans and their families on a daily basis. The center also provides military sexual trauma counseling and bereavement counseling for families who lost a family member in active duty.

"Our mission is to help veterans readjust when they get back from the military to the real world, and we do that by outreach, referral and counseling," Withers said.

The centers also provide information to veterans on their benefits and assistance with burials and memorials.

The Vet Center provides a website with more information, benefits and resources. The Veterans' crisis line is 1-800-273-8255.

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