Goodwill supports West Texas veterans

April 6, 2011

Chuck Wilson, Coordinator of Veterans Services talks with Melissa Lozano, Workforce Solutions Career Coach about the Workforce Center’s grounds and training and study areas and Arlanda M. Robinson, Veterans Outreach Representative speaks with Jeanne Brewer, Workforce Solutions Customer Service Representative at the Workforce Center in Sweetwater.

In 2010 Goodwill Industries was awarded their first grant funding for veteran's assistance. Other funding for veterans’ assistance is supported by proceeds from the sale of $2 Veterans Cash scratch-off lottery tickets. This in itself has helped many veterans in so many ways.
Goodwill Industries of West Texas helps support veterans from young to old. Those who have served our country now have support that was well past due.
Chuck Wilson, who served in the Navy in the past, is now the Coordinator of Veterans Services for Goodwill West Texas. Assisting Wilson is Arlanda M. Robinson who served in the Marines, and is now the Veteran Outreach liaison for Goodwill West Texas.
Veterans can now go somewhere where they can receive help not only for themselves, but for their families, too. These services include limited emergency financial assistance, transportation services, employment, training, education and job placement assistance, housing assistance for homeless veterans, family and child services, legal services, excluding criminal defense, development of professional services networks and enhancement of veterans' assistance programs, including veterans' representation and counseling.
Wilson said, "Many veterans not only come out of the military with just PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), they are also noticing more soldiers coming out with TBI (traumatic brain injury). Texas Veterans Commission also provides counseling for this trauma."
Traumatic brain injury is a form of acquired brain injury and occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. It can result when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue. Symptoms may vary from headaches, confusion, light-headedness, dizziness, blurred vision or tired eyes, ears ringing, behavioral or mood changes, memory loss, lack of concentration, awakening from sleep and much more.
TBI is different from post-traumatic stress disorder, which is more of an anxiety disorder. It may occur after seeing or experiencing a traumatic event that involved threat of injury or of death. The affliction is usually tied in with memories of the event or flashback-related incidents.
Wilson and Robinson both work as a team, just as they were trained. They are getting the word out that they are trying to make veterans aware of Goodwill Industries of West Texas, it is there to help all veterans with issues that they may come across daily.
Funding is available for different things such as helping a veteran get reimbursed in travel expenses for operations or certain check ups, to helping them get a job in the everyday civilian's environment. At times it can be difficult for a veteran to get back into the everyday lifestyle or environment of civilian life. That's where Goodwill West Texas can help.
Another place that can provide help is Workforce Solutions, with a local location at 1105 Bell Street in Sweetwater. They provide computers that a veteran may get on to look for work or to apply for jobs, as well as create their resumé, and much more. Workforce Solutions has career specialists on the premises to provide help in-house for veterans to maybe find jobs that they may be qualified for within their area of location. They have many other tutorials, and some small courses to help them on other skills and/or trades that may benefit them on getting a better job or better opportunities.
Wilson did say that they are not sure of what is to follow into the next year, 2012, as of yet, due to state cutbacks and funding. In the meantime, they are going to continue moving forward and making sure that veterans are aware that there is help out there.
For more information or assistance contact Chuck Wilson, or ask for a Veteran Outreach Coordinator at 325-676-7925 or come by Goodwill, located at 2000 N. 1st Street in Abilene, Texas 79603.
Further information can be found at the Texas Veterans Commission: www.tvc.state.tx.us.

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