Vets help other vets through Military Peer Veteran NetworkRhea Gonzales March 22, 2018 0 COMMENTS
BY GAIL M. WILLIAMS
Muleshoe Journal Correspondent
Those who serve their country sometimes find themselves in need of help after they come home. And for vets in need of support, the best support is from someone who understands what they’ve been through.
Loren Lee C. St. Dennis recently visited the Bailey County Office of Aging to meet with Veteran Service Officer Judy Coffman. St. Dennis, TSgt., USAF, Retired, is Peer Services Coordinator of the Military Veteran Peer Network (MVPN) in Plainview.
St. Dennis received training and was recently certified as a coordinator by the Texas Veterans Commission.
St. Dennis explained that the Plainview MVPN office covers nine counties: Bailey, Biscoe, Castro, Floyd, Hale, Lamp, Motley, Parmer and Swisher counties.
“VetStar in Lubbock, covers all the counties except Frisco,” St. Dennis said.
In Plainview, Veteran Resource Meetings are held at 6 p.m., the second and fourth Thursday of each month at the Elks Lodge.
“They come in and start
talking about the places they’ve been to and the units they’ve been in,” St. Dennis said. “Sometimes they come in looking like whole world is weighing them down. They leave looking more uplifted and happier with themselves and their surroundings.
“It’s just having someone to talk to. It’s veterans helping veterans.”
MVPN assists military veterans and their families to get help and support, to find resources and meet other veterans. They help find counseling resources for those with PTSD, traumatic brain injury, military sexual injury and military injury. In addition, the group can help find resources for food and utilities.
St. Dennis plans to come to Muleshoe as needed, once or twice a month to work with the veterans
Veterans Affairs Officer Judy Coffman can be reached at 806-272-3647 or in the Office of Aging in the Bailey County Courthouse.
St. Dennis can be reached at 806-291-4470, and Andrew Gilpin, Lubbock coordinator, at 806-407-8363.
Other good resource numbers are: Central Plains Center Crisis Hotline, 1-800-687-1300, and Veterans Crisis Hotline 1-800-273-8255 (press 1).
FREE EVENT FOR VETERANS, MILITARY AND FAMILIES
West Texas Salute to Veterans, a free event for veterans and current military and their families, will start at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, March 31, at the Clarion Hotel, 3201 South Loop 289, Lubbock. The event includes 65 information tables and a children’s area.
8:30 a.m. Color Guard & Opening Ceremony
8:45 a.m. Keynote address by Ron Milam, Ph.D., Texas Tech University
9:15-10 a.m. Breakout Session #1
10:05 a.m. Break: Visit information tables. Break sponsored by Bahama Bucks.
10:30-11:15 a.m. Breakout Session #2
11:20 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Lunch provided by Lubbock National Bank
12:50-1:50 p.m. Breakout Session #3
2-4 p.m. All Military Service Reunion
The event is sponsored by the Veterans Advisory Committee, Interim HealthCare and the City of Lubbock.