There are some folks down at the VA in Amarillo, TX, looking for some feedback. In fact, they are seeking the assistance of military spouses and families in order to help the same. Two individuals that I have been in contact with regarding a new program are Richard Johnson and Suzanne Morton of the LEAD program through the VA (Thomas E. Creek, VAMC).
Currently, they are looking for ways to assist with families and spouses in via an outreach program entitled LEAD. Recently, Mr. Johnson posted about goals to address the concerns, issues and needs of families on the homefront. They are currently on an information gathering session and are asking spouses to contact them individually (keeping OPSEC and PERSEC in mind of course).
They are open to your thoughts and suggestions on how to provide support to spouses and families of members in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) and said veterans. Use them as your sounding board, they may have more resources to share with you than you knew existed and if they don’t, perhaps they can make some waves in getting the resources you seek.
Keep in mind that anonymity will be maintained as when reporting their findings, no names or other identifying information will be used concerning spouses/families who contact them. VA members are well versed in the security matters and while they respect your privacy, you too should be vigilant not too give away any unit/deployment/rotation information. At this time, that information is not needed for this program. I would venture to say that if you contact them, you can even choose just to give your first name.
Some of the questions they are seeking answers to are:
1) What has been the hardest struggle you have had to overcome?
2) How has behavior changes affected your family and social environment?
3) What benefits would you like to see offered for the spouse/family of veterans?
4) Would you benefit from meetings with other spouses and or family members?
5) What avenues have you tried and what were the outcomes?
6) Do you know of any OEF/OIF family members that are having problems? What are they?
7) What do you think would be the best way to get the information out to spouses or family members; through email, letter, booklet or CD?
Another matter Mr. Johnson wanted to raise awareness about is that “Veterans have up to 5 years after separation to seek services.”
If you would like to contact them, you may do so via email or phone at:
Phone: (806) 355-9703 ext. 4917
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