The Guide to Coming Home

The Guide to Coming Home Category Archive: Substance Abuse

Get signed up with a Veteran Service Officer ASAP

Posted at 10:07 AM on February 23, 2010 (0 Comments)
Filed under: Accessing benefits, Education, Family & relationships, Mental Health, Substance Abuse

From Jerry Kyser, Roseville, MN
Sgt E-5 Army, Vietnam-Huey Helicopter Crew Chief and Gunner;1st Inf 1968-69; 1st Avn Brigade 1969-70

Be involved with the reintegration as soon as you can. The military knows what happens to families with multiple deployments. There are many programs to help you and your loved ones. Get help quickly and do not be shy about it. We love you folks.Take it from an Old Vietnam warrior. It is not just about you, it is about you and your family even if you are single. As veterans, we want to be your back. We want to help you get the GI Bill going or make sure you can get your job back if you had one when you were deployed. If not, press on and do something to get a new one. Things are tough but you are a survivor. You are our heroes. You are all winners.

I came back to College in 1970 with undiagnosed PTSD and became stubborn, bitter and angry. I never went to the VA for 37 years for diagnosis, therapy and compensation for my combat injuries. DO NOT DO THAT, IT CAN KILL YOU. Get registered with your State and Veteran Service Officer. Find out about your earned benefits, job placement and stay away from the booze and drugs.

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Text message insights on reintegration

Posted at 11:01 AM on February 9, 2010 (0 Comments)
Filed under: Accessing benefits, Community, Education, Employment, Family & relationships, Housing, Legal, Mental Health, Other, Personal Finance, Substance Abuse

As part of our online and radio series on reintegration, We're asking veterans, their families and those who work with veterans to send us a text message with the answer to this question:

"What's the key to a soldier's successful return home?"

We'll be posting responses throughout the afternoon here. To share your experience with reintegration, text the word "advice" to 30644. Or click here.

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Resources for reintegration

Posted at 2:10 PM on January 27, 2010 (0 Comments)
Filed under: Accessing benefits, Community, Education, Employment, Family & relationships, Housing, Legal, Mental Health, Other, Personal Finance, Substance Abuse

MPR News will be building and maintaining a list of resources for returning veterans and their families. If you see something missing or want to add information to an existing listing, click here.

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
"To empower leadership, service members and families by providing relevant training, services, and resources throughout the deployment cycle."
Click here for a list of contacts
**BTYR also has a comprehensive resource list here:**

Link Vet Line
"The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs has launched a new hotline to provide comprehensive assistance and crisis intervention for veterans."
Contact: 888.LINK.VET (546.5838)

United Veterans Legislative Council of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN
"A consortium of Veterans, Military, and Auxiliary Organizations to exchange information and support issues relating to entitlements for Veterans, Military Retirees, the National Guard and Military Reservists, their dependents and survivors."
Contact: Ralph Donais, 763-441-2630

Benefit Navigation and Referrals
Disabled American Veterans Dept. of Minnesota
"Providing free, professional assistance to veterans and their families in obtaining benefits and services earned through military service"
Click here for chapter locations and contact information

Minnesota County Veterans Service Officers
"Assist veterans and their families in obtaining benefits and services accrued through military service."
Click here for contacts listed by county

Brain Injuries
Brain Injury Association of Minnesota
"The Brain Injury Association of Minnesota's goal is to provide answers and avenues of support for all Minnesotans living with brain injury."
Contact: 800-669-6442 or 612-378-2742

Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center
Minneapolis, MN
"We provide inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services to veterans and active duty service members who have sustained polytrauma injuries, including traumatic brain injury."
Contact: Stacy Tepper, Admissions and Referral Officer, 612-467-3235 or 866-414-5058 ext. 3235

DCoE Outreach Center
"The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) runs a resource center that provides information and resources about psychological health, post-traumatic stress disorder, and traumatic brain injury."
Contact: 866-966-1020

Walk-In Counseling Center
Minneapolis, MN
"Provides free, confidential, no appointment professional counseling."
Contact: 612-870-0565

Military OneSource
"Education, relocation, parenting, stress - you name it - Military OneSource is here to help you with just about any need. Available by phone or online, our free service is provided by the Department of Defense for active-duty, Guard and Reserve service members and their families."
Contact: 1-800-342-9647

Calvary Lutheran Church
Golden Valley, MN
"Active-duty soldiers, veterans, military families--count on us to support you through prayer, correspondence and other resources geared just for you as you protect our country's freedom."
Contact: Pastor Skip Reeves,, 763-231-2965

NAMI Vet Connection
Metro and Detroit Lakes
"Vet Connection groups are free and open to all veterans interested in learning more about coping tools or approaches to reintegration issues."
Metro contact (for men): Molly Black, 651-645-2948 x106
Metro contact (for women): Rachel, 952-818-7343
Detroit Lakes contact: Mary, 218-841-4863

Vet Centers
"Provide individual, group and family counseling to all Veterans who served in any combat zone. Services are also available for their family members."
Duluth contact: 218-722-8654
Minneapolis contact: 763-503-2220
St. Paul contact: 651-644-4022

Troop and Family Counseling Services for National Guard and Reserves
"A free, 24/7 service for military families."
Contact: 1-888-755-9355

Not Alone
A website where, "warriors and families share their experiences in fixing their lives. Here you will find others that deal with the war after the war every day. Here you will get real help."

DCoE Outreach Center
(see listing above)

"Connecting you with educational benefits and resources to help you succeed in college."
Regional coordinator contact list can be found here

Veterans Transition Center at the University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN
"We exist to support the veterans of our country's Armed Forces and our main goal is to help student veterans smoothly make the transition from military to civilian life."
Contact: Aaron Ledebuhr, or 612-624-2913

MnSCU Veterans Services
Click here for regional contact list

Veterans Upward Bound at MCTC
"Veterans can receive career, personal, and financial aid counseling, enrollment assistance, GED preparation, and one-on-one tutoring. In addition, a full-time VA benefits counselor is on staff to assist veterans in applying for educational benefits."
Contact: Kent Fritz-Smead, 612-659-6582

Veterans' Initiative Center & Research Institute
Minneapolis, MN
"The VICTRI is a cutting edge, state-of-the-art center built to assist Veterans and their family members to start, build and sustain successful businesses or initiatives through education, services, support and research."
Contact: Jack Scharrett, 612-353-5600,

DEED Veterans Employment Services
"From individual employment counseling, to assistance in all stages of job search, to direct referrals for job openings, to job training for disabled veterans, to helping convert military training to civilian credentials, we offer a wide variety of specialized employment and training services to veterans."
Click here for employment reps by office location

Career OneStop
"The Key to Career Success campaign connects veterans and transitioning service members with high quality career planning, training, and job search resources"
Find a career center near you.

Resource Employment Action Center
Metro and St. Cloud
"JOBS for VETERANS, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, is designed to help veterans find the job that best utilizes their skills."
Contact: 612-752-8400

Financial support
Minnesota Military Foundation
"The Minnesota Military Family Foundation distributes money through grants and loans to Minnesota Military Families of deployed soldiers that need a little help."
Contact: Terry Palmer, 763-544-2255,

Minnesota Assistance Council for VeteransDuluth, Mankato, Metro
"MACV exists to directly help veterans and their families affected by homelessness or those in danger of becoming homeless."
Dulth contact: Durbin Keeney, 218.722.8763
Mankato contact: Sue Sorenson, 507.345.8258
Metro contact: Jimmy Collier, 612.726.1327

"Source for affordable housing-related data, information and resources."
Contact: 612-522-2500 or

Kids and Family
Operation: Military Kids
"Helping kids feel connected, active and supported that have been affected through recent troop deployment"
Contact: Kia Harries,, 507-372-390 or Amber Runke, or 612-624-8198

Operation Homefront
"Operation Homefront provides emergency and morale assistance for our troops, the families they leave behind, and for wounded warriors when they return home."
Contact: 800-722-6098

Project New Hope Retreats
"Provide Veterans and their families the education, training, and skills necessary to manage their lives after wartime service."
Contact: Jen Billington, 218-851-5839,

Family Assistance Centers
"A FAC is an information source for a variety of services for the Service Member and their family before, during and following a deployment."
Click here for contact information by office location

Legal services

Baker Williams Law Firm
"We have a personal mission to serve the members of our military family. Our life experience has inspired us to create this purpose. Our goal is to offer legal services to veterans, service-members, wounded warriors and their families at every stage of their lives."
Contact: (651) 773-4111 or (877) 434-VETS

Brock Hunter Law
"A veteran himself, Brock Hunter dedicates a portion of his practice to defending military veterans who find themselves in criminal court."
Contact: 612-874-1625

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