Chapter 12 Vet Centers

Introduction to Vet Centers

The Vet Center Program was established by Congress in 1979 in response to the readjustment problems that a significant number of Vietnam-era Veterans were continuing to experience after their return from combat. In subsequent years, Congress extended eligibility to WW II and Korean Combat Veterans, and to Veterans who served in conflicts after Vietnam: Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, the Persian Gulf, Somalia, Kosovo/Bosnia, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and other operations within the Global War on Terrorism.

What Services Do Vet Centers Provide?

If you served in any combat zone (Vietnam, Southwest Asia, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, etc.), you are eligible for Vet Center services. These services are available regardless of whether or not you are enrolled in the VA health care system. Community-based Vet Centers provide a broad range of counseling, outreach, and referral services to help Veterans make a satisfying post-war readjustment to civilian life:
         Individual counseling
         Group counseling
         Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) counseling
         Marital and family counseling
         Bereavement counseling
         Medical referrals
         Assistance in applying for VA benefits
         Employment counseling
         Guidance and referral
         Alcohol/drug assessments
         Information and referral to community resources
         Military sexual trauma counseling and referral
         Outreach and community education
How Do I Gain Access to Vet Center Services?

VA’s readjustment counseling is provided at community-based Vet Centers located near Veterans and their families.

Vet Center staff are also available toll-free during normal business hours at 1-800-905-4675 (Eastern) and 1-866-496-8838 (Pacific).
For more information or to locate the Vet Center nearest you, go to