Mobile veteran counseling

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BOONVILLE - In mid-Missouri, The Vet Center goes the distance to bring its services to veterans.

This Thursday, Lloyd Adams drove the 40-foot mobile Vet Center to Orscheln Farm & Home in Boonville, where he stationed in the parking lot from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

As soon as he arrives, Adams opens the vehicle's door, welcoming veterans inside.

“Every week we do at least two to three events a week, sometimes more,” he said.

These events, or outreach sessions, allow veterans the chance to learn about opportunities and services provided for veterans and their families. Counseling and job referrals are also available for veterans.

One of Vet Center’s main goal is to provide readjustment counseling.

“We do group counseling, military sexual trauma counseling, bereavement counseling. Those are the basis of what we do,” Adams said.

PTSD is another main issue The Vet Center provides counseling for. As a veteran himself, Adams said having someone who knows what veterans have been through is important for moving forward.

“The soldiers’ gotta have someone that he can look to,” he said. “Someone that can understand what he’s been through, so without that a lot of times soldiers shut down and they won’t go to us people that can help them.”

Mark Johnson, who works as the outreach coordinator for the Columbia Vet Center, said he has seen the influence these services provided for one homeless veteran in Rolla, MO.

“We actually took that vet, got him housed, got his disability started and got him back on his feet and that’s what we’re all about,” he said.

Johnson said The Vet Center is always there to support veterans who use its services.

“He was so happy,” Johnson said. “He was like ‘no one helped me out and you guys are like my savior, you guys saved me from the streets,’” he said.

The next Vet Center outreach session will be December 6, at the Wal-Mart in Marshall, MO from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information on The Vet Center services, click here for the website.