MCC News

DVA Mobile Vet Center Coming to Campus on May 15

Monday, May 07, 2012

Muskegon area veterans and their families can have direct access to Department of Veteran Affairs representatives on Tuesday, May 15, when the Mobile Vet Center (MVC) will visit the Muskegon Community College campus.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the specially designed 88-foot MVC unit will be located in MCC’s south parking lot. In order to be served, veterans must bring proper documentation, e.g. military ID, discharge papers, etc.

The DVA uses its 50 MVCs to reach veterans in underserved areas of the nation readjust to civilian life. The DVA specialists work with vets to  identify problems and then offer individual, family, and group counseling for a host of issues, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), military sexual trauma, and bereavement.

Vet Centers provide readjustment counseling and outreach services to all veterans who served in any combat zone. Services are also available for their family members for military-related issues. Veterans have earned these benefits through their service and all are provided at no cost to the veteran or family.

The MVC is equipped with two confidential counseling areas on both ends and a waiting room in the center. The internet satellite and onboard generator assures that Vet Center counselors will have real time access to the veteran’s VA records on a secure system. A video conferencing system allows face-to-face visits between the veteran and a VAMC health provider doing, for instance, medication management. The MVC has been maximized for multi-use applications by adding portable exam tables that can be configured within the existing confidential counseling areas to provide limited primary care capability.  Additionally, the installation of rear doors, a wheelchair lift, and litter racks within the vehicle provide emergency patient evacuation capability

In 1979, Congress mandated the establishment of Vet Centers to provide readjustment counseling services to Vietnam Era combat veterans who were experiencing problems adjusting from military life to civilian life after having served during war times. Because of their success, the Vet Centers were opened to all U.S. veterans. Today, approximately 300 Vet Centers and 50 Mobile Vet Centers are located across the nation and in U.S. territories.

Muskegon Community College opened its Veterans Affairs Office in 1972. In the mid-1970s, one out of every five MCC students was either a veteran or a dependent of a veteran. Now four decades old, MCC’s office remains one of the few on a U.S. campus to have been continually staffed by a veteran. The office assists MCC student veterans in applying for their educational benefits.

Named a Military Friendly Campus in 2012 by G.I. Jobs magazine, MCC played an integral role in the establishment of the Veterans Office in downtown Muskegon in the 1970s. Today, the campus has an active Student Veterans Organization. MCC currently has approximately 120 students using their military benefits.

“The College should be very proud and the people who live in Muskegon County very thankful for what this institution has done for veterans,” said John Morano Jr., associate director of enrollment services, who has been active with the college’s veteran initiatives for the past 40 years.

For more information, contact the MCC Veterans Affairs Office at (231) 777-0345.

To view the Veteran Resources Fair poster listing the services being provided that day, click here.