40°F
weather icon Clear

Centers offer alternatives to larger VA facilities

The Department of Veterans Affairs, more traditionally known as the VA, has several offices in and around Las Vegas. Although physical access has been somewhat limited due to the current pandemic, the agency still manages to offer many services including assisting with applying for government benefits.

But there is another element in the local system that is not directly connected to the main VA medical center or its satellites. Known as vet centers, they offer distinct services provided by veterans’ outreach program specialists.

“While we don’t do any direct service officer actions, such as claims, we do help veterans stay connected to agencies or veterans’ service organizations that assist with that, and with many other needs that improve their lives after military service,” according to Phellep A. Snow.

Snow is a veterans’ outreach program specialist at the agency’s Henderson office. He explained that there are two reasons for offices such as his.

“We like to make sure that we can eliminate barriers to service. So being in a location that is established within the community helps a lot of veterans that may not be able to travel across town to the VA medical center, or to some of the primary care clinics.”

In addition to that, he said when the vet centers were created there was a realization that not every veteran was comfortable with the required structure of clinic operations.

“So we are able to operate and have an environment like many other (traditional) businesses. The ease of arriving to our facility and interacting with staff, and also the feeling that veterans are not placing themselves in compromising positions. That was part of the thought process when it came to setting up the vet centers.”

To that end, the two vet centers in Southern Nevada (Henderson and Las Vegas) are in generic office buildings that house banking and other financial facilities, physical therapists, real estate services and other businesses not directly related to veterans.

“We have, for lack of a better word, the camouflage of other businesses around us. So once again if someone is coming to us for mental health services, they do not have to feel that there is a cloud or stigma over the place that they are going to,” Snow said.

The Henderson location is at 400 N. Stephanie St., a quick jaunt down the freeway from Boulder City.

“If anybody wants to come by and get a tour of the facility, we welcome it. We’ll help create an awareness of who we are and what we do.”

One of the services offered includes working with community partners. Snow explained that many veterans come to town with their families, arriving with no employment prospects. They have no idea what options are available for them, including benefits offered by the Nevada Department of Veterans Services. Snow provides that information and assists them with the enrollment process.

“It really comes down to having a place where veterans can go to get information and not have to feel they are spending hours on the internet or searching other information sources, or trying to battle through overwhelming information or a sense of confusion. We help to eliminate that.”

Snow is a veteran of the Marine Corps. He initially trained as a radio operator, but later transitioned to working as a career planner, counseling Marines who optioned to stay in the Corps. “It helped a lot with what I’m doing now,” he said.

The Henderson Vet Center can be reached at 702-791-9100.

Chuck N. Baker is an award-winning journalist and a Vietnam War Purple Heart veteran. He can be heard at 8:30 a.m. each Sunday on KKVV-AM hosting “That’s America to Me” and occasionally on KUNV-FM hosting “America’s Veterans, Today and Tomorrow.”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Working together helps entire region

We’ve all heard the old adage, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” I find that statement to be so true for Southern Nevada. While the people of Boulder City have accomplished many amazing things over the past 92 years, there has always been a spirit of teamwork, collaboration and strong alliances that drive us forward.

Film fest returns to in-person schedule

After two years of trying to do everything online, Lee Lanier is ready to welcome live audiences back to the Dam Short Film Festival. The latest edition of the popular festival is scheduled to run Feb. 16-20 in downtown Boulder City.

Heat tolerance affected by location, proximity to wall

Q. After reading your recent gardening piece I have decided to take your advice and replace the bougainvillea and the western redbud with cat’s claw vine and an apricot and protect it with shade cloth. Is it better to plant a bareroot fruit tree or a potted one? Also, in this hot spot would a peach have as much chance as an apricot? As to shading the plants and wall should they be covered completely or built to only provide afternoon shade? My last question has to do with western redbud. I want to attempt to transplant it to a more favorable location. Is now a good time to transplant and are there steps I can take to help it survive?

Nevada’s Yesteryear: Controversy surrounds lake’s name

As stated by Nevada historian Phillip Earl, “Few of Nevada’s geological features have had a history of controversy quite like that of Lake Tahoe, which graces the California-Nevada border.”

Blatchford to represent BC in state pageant

Taylor Blatchford will be representing her beloved hometown by running as Miss Boulder City in the 2023 Miss Nevada competition June 22 and 23 at Bally’s Lake Tahoe in Stateline, Nevada.

Library takes families on storied path through town

An attraction set up by the Boulder City Library takes patrons on a path through local businesses to read a story as they walk.

Slow drains can lead to costly repairs

Nothing puts a kink in your kitchen or bathroom like a backed-up drain. Treat it quickly and avoid an out of commission sink, shower or tub. Let it go from slow drain to standing water and you’ll be in for a messy, smelly, unsanitary and potentially costly repair.

New year brings opportunities to ‘do something’

Happy new year! As we enter 2023, I hope everyone has enjoyed the holidays and is looking forward to the new year. Considerable progress and goal-setting have been happening, and I wanted to share some of that with you.

Senior Center, Jan. 5-11

Hours of operation: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday at 813 Arizona St., 702-293-3320. Visit the center’s website at www.seniorcenterbouldercity.org.