Two representatives with the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veteran's Hospital made their way to California on Tuesday morning to assist Moniteau County veterans with any needs that may arise.
Lloyd Adams, an outreach coordinator with the Truman Veteran's Association, travels to 38 counties in Missouri in a specialized van to give area veterans access to benefits, health services and counseling services.
"A lot of times, veterans can't get to the VA hospital because of transportation issues or another reason," Adams said. "So we do what we can to get them closer to services and make sure they're in the system."
One of the main issues Adams runs into while recruiting veterans is the need for mental health services.
"You've got veterans who are just out of combat, or they're trying to readjust to civilian life again," Adams said. "There are also those veterans who need to know they don't have to look over their shoulder anymore."
Adams and his team serve veterans through individual readjustment counseling, marital and family counseling, substance abuse information and referrals, and even community education.
Along with the mobile van services, veterans may also visit the Columbia Vet Center's website to find a Vet Center in their respective location. The process of getting set up with help is simple, Adams said.
"They come in to the van or the office, and I help them to fill out the forms and applications," Adams said. "After that, I just give them a nice envelope and all they have to do is put a stamp on it. In about five to six days, you're all set up with help."
The services in the mobile van as well as in the 4040 Rangeline Street office, in Columbia, are completely free. Adams said veterans who visit the office will need to bring their DD-214 forms to get the help they need.
Adams' counterpart, Mark Johnson, also mans the van as an outreach coordinator.
"We just want veterans to know that we care," Johnson said. "We're always here for the vets to help them with anything they may need."
For more information, visit www.va.gov/find-locations/facility/vc_0443V or call 573-814-6206.