Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

September 24, 2012

COLUMN: Veteran's Corner

— Austin-based Texas Legal Services Center,   announces the receipt of two grants funding veterans’ services. TLSC provides availability of legal services to low income Texans.

The Texas Veterans Commission awarded TLSC a grant in the amount of $189,900 and the Texas Access to Justice Foundation presented an award of $90,713. The grants hold true to TLSC’s commitment to Texas veterans through its Veterans Legal Assistance Project. The project was established in the fall of 2010 responding to the growing need by veterans with legal issues transitioning from military to civilian life.

This will allow VLAP to reach more veterans in need of legal services, particularly those living in rural areas. VLAP has provided legal assistance to more than 1,000 Texas veterans, dependents and surviving spouses.

The VLAP provides legal assistance with VA compensation and pension benefits, federal and state public benefits and disability programs, family law, housing issues, consumer protection and estate planning. Licensed attorneys are available for counseling via phone.

Veterans that need assistance or are in need of additional information, call 1-800-622-2520 and press option 3. The TLSC can be reached at 512-637-5419 or at www.tlsc.org.

In recognition of September as Suicide Prevention Month, the Department of Veterans Affairs is calling on individuals and communities across the country to show their support for veterans in crisis and help raise awareness of the VA mental health services veterans have earned. The theme for the outreach campaign, “Stand by Them,” is part of a joint VA and Department of Defense effort focused on veteran and servicemember support networks, especially their friends and family members, who may be the first to realize a veteran or servicemember is in crisis.

The VA is partnering with the DoD and other agencies while urging community based organizations, veterans service organizations, health care providers and private companies to stand by veterans and servicemembers. These groups can educate those they work with about recognizing suicide risk and encouraging those at risk to call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.

The VA is encouraging people to show their support for veterans by signing an online pledge at www.veteranscrisisline.net to learn the signs of a crisis and to spread the word among veterans, friends and family members. Supporters can share a pledge through social media and download special Suicide Prevention Month web banners, posters and flyers.

To learn more about Suicide Prevention Month or to find a VA Suicide Prevention Coordinator visit the Veterans Crisis Line. For more information about the VA’s mental health resources go to www.mentalhealth.va.gov.  

AMVETS is hosting NFL Punt, Pass & Kick, Saturday, Sept. 29. Go to nflppk.com to register ages 6 to 15 online or call 940-445-0734 for information. Registration forms can be picked up at Palo Pinto County Schools.

Reach Jim Vines at jim.helpingveterans@gmail.com.

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