History of the Vet Center Program

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History of the Vet Center Program

The Vet Center Program was established by Congress in 1979 in recognition that significant numbers of Vietnam veterans were experiencing readjustment problems. Vet Centers were established as community based counseling arms of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Madison Vet Center opened its doors in November of 1981. It is located at 706 Williamson Street. In 1991, following the Persian Gulf War, Congress extended eligibility to veterans who served during other periods of armed conflict post Vietnam. Those periods include Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, and the Persian Gulf. In 1996, Congress extended eligibility to veterans who served in World War II, the Korean War and Somalia. In addition, veterans who were victims of sexual harassment or trauma while in the military are eligible for services at the Vet Center.

War Zone Veterans - all eras including:
War II

December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946

Korean War

June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955

Vietnam War

February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975

Vietnam Era veterans not in the War Zone

August 8, 1964 to May 7, 1975

(Eligible until January 1, 2004)


August 25, 1982 to February 26, 1984


October 23, 1983 to November 21, 1983


December 20, 1989 to January 31, 1990

Gulf War

August 2, 1990 to


September 17, 1992 to

Operation Joint Endeavor, Operation Joint Guard, Operation Joint Forge – Vet Center eligibility has been extended to veterans who participated in one or more of three successive operations in the former Yugoslavia (Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, aboard U.S. Naval vessels operating in the Adriatic Sea, or air spaces above those areas)

Global War on Terrorism

Sexual Trauma and Harassment Counseling

Veterans of both sexes and all eras


Currently there are over 200 Vet Centers nationwide whose mission is to provide a broad range of counseling, outreach, and referral services

to assist veterans and family members overcome the readjustment problems associated with war and personal trauma.

Individual readjustment counseling

Group readjustment counseling

Marital and family counseling

Referral for benefits assistance

Liaison with community agencies

Job counseling and placement

Substance abuse information and referral

Community education

NOTE: All services are free to eligible veterans and their families.
CONTRACT SERVICES_________________
Eligible veterans who reside outside a fifty mile radius from a Vet Center may be authorized to receive counseling from a private agency. Details are available by contacting the Vet Center.
Counselors come from many clinical disciplines such as psychology, social work, psychiatry, and substance abuse, but also include special trauma. Sixty percent of the counselors in the program are combat veterans themselves.
Treatment records are confidential and secured in locked files. Records are released only with the veteran’s authorization.
For the men and women who proudly served their nation. Your sacrifices and efforts have earned you the support of your country. You are eligible to obtain assistance from a Department of Veterans Affairs Vet Center in your local community.
VET CENTER LOCATION_______________

Vet Center

706 Williamson Street

Madison, WI 53703


Fax # 1-608-264-5344

Toll Free 1-800-842-6355

JAN 2008

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