Mobile Vet Center Campaign To Reach Every US Veteran - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Mobile Vet Center Campaign To Reach Every US Veteran

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WESTOVER -

The US Department of Veterans Affairs estimates there are roughly 22 million veterans in the country.

Reaching all of them takes some serious man power and dedication.

A Veterans Affair campaign is trying to do so.

It's called Boots on the Ground.

About 70 mobile Vet Centers will be traveling all across the country trying the reach and educate every veteran in America.

"I think the Vet Center provides essential services to veterans," said veteran Thomas Butts. "It's a safe place for vets to come in and talk about their issues. And also to learn, and become more aware of their benefits and better in touch with the programs that our out there to serve them."

Veteran Thomas Butts served his country, and is taking advantage of VA programs that are helping him get a degree at West Virginia University.

But Butts is just one of less than 40 percent of Vets who use the VA's education and training services.

And 35 percent vets who don't use those services said they're not even aware of the benefits.

"A lot of them don't think they qualify," said Cecil Joseph of the Vet Center in Westover. "They don't even look. They just think they did what they did for their country, and they don't want to tie up the system for other veterans and use the services other veterans use."

The more vets using VA services increases the money available to fund the programs said Joseph.

Butts added that many vets, especially those in rural areas, are just unaware of their benefits.

"My experience has been very positive and I think vets will embrace the Vet Center and their mission, and hopefully take advantage of their benefits," said Butts.

"It's going to be very involved," Joseph added. "It's going to be fun through. When you do something you like doing, out reaching to veterans telling them about VA services such as the Vet Center services and CBOCs and things like that. It's fun, it's fun."