New Vet Center will help troops adjust to coming home - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

New Vet Center will help troops adjust to coming home

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by Colby Robertson

WAUSAU (WAOW) -- The Department of Veterans Affairs announces plans for a new vet center in Wausau.

The facility will provide critical services and support to area Veterans. But, this new center will provide psychological care to those that so desperately need it.

Over the past several years, tens of thousands of soldiers have rotated in and out of war torn regions. They're taken away from their families, their jobs or school only to return home to find readjustment is a struggle.

Marathon County American Legion Commander Tony Nardi says, "They're activated for duty, sent over for a combat situation where they have to live in a dangerous world for a year to 18 months and then they're brought back home and almost quickly taken out of a situation like that and put back into a structured life and some of our veterans and service men are having a hard time dealing with that."

In the past Wausau area Veterans with psychological needs have had to drive as far as Green Bay for counseling.

Senator Russ Feingold says, "This counseling is absolutely critical and we have tens of thousands of Veterans in north central Wisconsin that have to travel way too far right now to visit a Vet Center like this."

Senator Feingold is one of several area politicians to push the Department of Veteran Affairs to bring a Vet Center to North Central Wisconsin. Those behind the initiative expect thousands to seek treatment.

Senator Feingold says, "There is clearly a need there. This is one of the biggest things that's come out of the post 911 wars. The post traumatic syndromes and all the psychological and mental issues that come along."

The Center staffed primarily by veterans allows for Veteran to Veteran interaction and specific counseling for Veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, mental-health and readjustment.

Nardi says, "We're dealing with a group of people with a specific issues they're dealing with and we have professionals that are trained to deal with Veterans and service men and the issues they're coming home with."

The VA has started the contracting process to find a space to lease. They anticipate the center will be up and running by October of next year.

Online Reporter: Colby Robertson

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