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Services Available to Veterans

Ryan Juntti
Updated: November 12, 2019 07:45 AM

There are medical and mental health services, benefits, or local support that veterans can seek when they leave active duty, but around 50 percent of veterans never seek those services.

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Dustin Oosten, a United States Army Veteran and a counselor for the Duluth Vet Center says one of the reasons for that is there is a stigma for veterans against seeking mental health services. Oosten says just about every veteran who leaves active duty deals with readjustment, which can also prolong veterans seeking services.

Oosten says when he left active duty, he waited to seek services, and in hindsight, he says he wishes he would've done so earlier. Now he encourages other veterans to take advantage of them as early as possible, and reach out to those who have been through the process as he acknowledges it can be frustrating.

"The thing about working and getting services is tenacity," said Oosten. "Sometimes you're going to hit roadblocks, and patience and persistence always pays off, and when you find someone that's the helpful person, put them on your speed dial and resort to that person," said Oosten.

Oosten says if a veteran wants to file for benefits, they should connect with their veteran county service office.

Oosten adds the Department of Defense card that is issued when someone joins the military can also be used as military identification.

United Way of Northeastern Minnesota has a Military Connections Guide, which provides information on services and programs available to Northeastern Minnesota veterans and their families. 

Credits

Ryan Juntti

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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