Active-duty combat veterans are eligible for counseling at the Killeen-Heights Vet Center beginning Feb. 3.
The new service is a requirement of the “Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010,” said Dr. Robert Gombeski, team leader for the center.
“We don’t know what type of numbers we’ll get,” he said.
To be prepared, the center hired a new clinical social worker, increasing the center’s staff to 10.
“We’re interested to see the impact this will have,” Gombeski said. “We just don’t know because it’s never been done before.”
Service members will be required to provide documentation by their third visit indicating they have served in a combat or war zone to continue counseling, according to the center’s release.
These services also are available to family members of active-duty combat service members as well as any combat veteran. For those concerned about privacy issues, Gombeski said the center doesn’t release any information from sessions to Veterans Affairs or the military without written consent, unless necessary to avert a crisis.
In addition to its regular operating hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, the center has extended hours until 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Beginning Feb. 1, the center, 302 Millers Crossing in Harker Heights, will be open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.
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Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here. You can contact Rose L. Thayer at email@example.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.