Senate Passes Akaka Amendment To Fund Vet Centers

Washington, D.C. - Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Ranking Member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, praised his colleagues for approving legislation to provide $5 million to fund participation of Vet Centers in transition assistance programs of the Department of Defense (DoD). The Akaka Amendment was approved last night and ensures a seamless transition for soldiers returning from combat.

"Vet Centers are extremely critical for our country's veterans and returning servicemembers -- be they active duty military or members of the Reserve and Guard," stated Senator Akaka. "Vet Centers now include outreach and counseling for the men and women returning from combat, many of whom will be struggling with some form of readjustment issue."

According to experts, as many as 30 percent of returning servicemembers will need some form of treatment or assistance. Established over 25 years ago, Vet Centers provide the needed counseling services and assistance to overcome the stigma associated with seeking professional readjustment counseling. Vet Centers currently provide vital outreach services to these servicemembers exclusively at demobilization sites and transitional assistance program briefings. The funds provided will allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to work in collaboration with the DoD.