Event connects veterans to services

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A “Veterans Screening and Referral Event” was held on Nov. 30 to help promote a successful transition from military to civilian life for veterans.

The event was co-sponsored by San Joaquin County Behavioral Health Services in collaboration with the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Healthcare System, VA Northern California Health Care System Mather, Calif., San Joaquin County Veterans Services Office, Veterans Center Modesto, Soldier’s Project – Stockton and Modesto, Delta College, University of the Pacific and the State of California Employment Development Department.

“This [event] started out to screen veterans for depression and it morphed into a benefits event,” said Catherine Mooney, San Joaquin Delta College Director of Admissions and Records and Troops to College Coordinator.

All veterans in attendance had access to professionals from various organizations committed to supporting veterans.

Information regarding education, financial aid, employment, and mental health services were also available.

Student veteran Jennifer Foster-Hayes, 26, a volunteer at the Veterans Resource Center, was able to benefit from the information regarding Veteran Affairs.

“I was able to learn about filing VA claims and disability, which is an issue for veterans,” said Foster-Hayes.

More than 60 veterans took advantage of the event and Gary Prost from Congressman Jerry McNerney’s office also attended the event as a show of support from McNerney for this initiative, according to an email sent out by Ejaz Ahmed from San Joaquin County Behavioral Health Services.

All in attendance at the event were informed of the Delta College Veterans Resource Center located in Budd 310.

The center provides a place for student veterans to do homework, get a tutor and meet fellow veterans.

The resource center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information regarding Delta College’s Veterans Services call (209) 954-5185 or visit the website deltacollege.edu/dept/troops.