Lake County Sheriff Veteran Ambassador Program Launches

on Monday, 28 May 2018.

Sheriff

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the Lake County Veterans Assistance Commission (VAC), the Lake County States Attorney’s office and LCVFSF celebrated the official launch of the Lake County Veterans Ambassador Program (2.0) on Armed Forces Day, May 19.

The program was created to address Veteran homelessness and suicide in a concrete way, providing transport to shelters and crisis care programs as needed for Veterans needing help from law enforcement community. After a safe night’s sleep, the VAC works with the Veteran to determine eligibility for VA benefits and community resources then connects them as appropriate.

Veterans Treatment Courts Continues Successful Record

on Wednesday, 04 October 2017.

Veterans Treatment Courts — Helping Vets Seek Justice
By Lindsey Getz
Social Work Today
Vol. 17 No. 5 P. 22

[Editor's Note: Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation is one of the founding parties of the Lake County Veterans Treatment and Assistance Court (VTAC) in Waukegan. It continues to be a key part of the specialty court process. To that end, at the conclusion of the following article, please read the information on working and supporting VTAC.]

The specialty court you may not have known existed is helping vets across the country.

Problem-solving courts take a specialized approach to working with participants in addressing the underlying problems that are contributing to their criminal behavior. It's become a big trend in the United States, as we've seen the emergence of drug courts and domestic violence courts that aim to reduce reoffenses and address substance use and other issues at the heart of illegal behavior.

Similar to problem-solving courts, Veterans Treatment Courts (VTCs) have emerged as a type of specialty court that help address the underlying needs of veterans who wind up facing criminal charges. It's estimated that there are currently around 350 of these specialty courts across the country, and they differ in terms of how they run or what types of charges they adjudicate. But the overarching goal is the same: getting veterans the help they need to stay out of jail and reintegrate with society.

VA Mission Act Update

on Thursday, 11 April 2019.

IMAGE: MISSION Act graphic

The new eligibility criteria will be a major improvement over existing criteria in terms of making things simpler: currently, eligibility criteria vary between VA’s community care programs. When the new criteria go into effect, Veterans can expect better access and greater choice in their health care, whether at VA or through a community provider.

The eligibility criteria are projected to go into effect in June 2019 after final regulations are published and effective, so the criteria are not yet final. In addition, key aspects of community care eligibility include the following:

  • Veterans must receive approval from VA prior to obtaining care from a community provider in most circumstances.
  • Veterans must either be enrolled in VA health care or be eligible for VA care without needing to enroll to be eligible for community care.
  • Eligibility for community care will continue to be dependent upon a Veteran’s individual health care needs or circumstances.
  • VA staff members generally make all eligibility determinations.
  • Veterans will usually have the option to receive care at a VA medical facility regardless of their eligibility for community care.
  • Meeting any one of six eligibility criteria listed below is sufficient to be referred to a community provider—a Veteran does not have to meet all of them to be eligible. (Real-world examples of when a Veteran would be eligible for community care are included in the eligibility fact sheet linked at the end of the article).

LCVFSF Increases Donation Options for Future Program Growth

on Tuesday, 11 October 2016.

Success is a wonderful thing. It is exhilarating and exciting, especially when it comes to helping others. But it can also be very limiting when it drains resources that need to be replenished in order to sustain growth.  

That is the state of affairs the Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation finds itself in as we complete our first full year of operation. Our robust growth has paid off, but we need to raise money to continue to serve our Service Member target population fully and efficiently. So, we are happy to announce two more options for our supporters to help us with donations.

...and One Very Heartfelt Thanks from the Troops

on Monday, 17 December 2018.

1LCVFSFCareRecips3

From: Lee, Joseph S MAJ USARMY MEDCOM LRMC (US)
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2018 12:43 AM

Subject: Thank you from the 67th FST in Afghanistan...

Dear 300 Boodle Brigade, Abbvie Vets Group, and the Lake County Vets Foundation,

Just wanted to send you all a warm and heartfelt THANK YOU!!!! for all the stockings, Christmas decorations, and boodle we received from you all!! With Christmas and New Years just around the corner, it was a HUGE morale boost (and sugar high!) for all of us at the 67th Forward Surgical Team stationed here in Afghanistan. While our group is small in size, we have been able to share all your wonderful snacks and goodies with our patients and other soldiers we treat both on the Forward Operating Base and returning from combat missions. Because we are in such a forward deployed location, everything you sent us goes a long way and is deeply appreciated! Your "boodle boxes" took me back to my days of Beast Barracks and plebe year (Class of '03) - I think its great you all continue to share this small part of the Long Gray Line with our brothers and sisters in arms during deployment. I am attaching a picture earlier this week of everyone as we decorated the aid station here and enjoyed unwrapping your gift boxes. Once again, thank you all so very much for your love, thoughts, and prayers this holiday season. Go Army, beat Navy!!

Happy Holidays!

67th Forward Surgical Team
MAJ Joseph Lee
General Surgeon/61J
MSS-TK, Afghanistan

1LCVFSFCareRecips2

 

Equestrian Connections Partners with LCVFSF for Veterans

on Friday, 29 June 2018.

1LCVFSFeqStable

Recognizing that working with horses can be a powerful therapy for Veterans and family members, LCVFSF has begun partnering with Equestrian Connections on Bradley Road in Lake Forest. It offers best in class equine therapy to enrich the lives of people who choose to benefit from its many resources and services.

Equestrian Connections offers a broad range of equine therapy programs, including one called ReConnect, specially designed for Veterans and family members to connect with horses and with each other to create a uniquely positive experience.

"A Sea of Khaki"

on Sunday, 10 March 2019.

Image result for a sea of khaki

On Feb. 8, thousands of mourners filled the United States Naval Academy’s chapel in Annapolis, Md., to pay their respects to Chief Petty Officer Shannon Kent, 35, who was killed by a suicide bomber at a restaurant in Manbij, Syria, last month, along with three other Americans. Kent was stationed at Fort Meade, Md., where she was assigned to Cryptologic Warfare Activity 66, a Navy unit that supports the National Security Agency and military special operations forces. She was supporting the latter at the time of her death.

During the ceremony, a bugler played taps. The Navy hymn “Eternal Father” rang from the pipe organ. But the memorial service departed from most of those that the Academy chapel has hosted in the past — in more ways than one.

Commentary: Veterans Deserve Our Support Every Day

on Thursday, 26 November 2015.

By Marc Burgess, Special to Military Times 12:10 p.m. EST November 25, 2015

Our recent annual observance of Veterans Day marked a genuine, heartfelt "thank you" to the men and women who have bravely served our nation. But now that the celebrations are over, it's an appropriate time to ask an important question: Are we truly supporting America's veterans?

A landmark survey conducted by my organization, Disabled American Veterans, reveals a very mixed answer.

There are 22 million veterans in this country. They are our family members, friends and neighbors; indeed, we all likely know at least one veteran. But there is much that many of us don't know or understand about their experiences, attitudes and perceptions.

PTSD in Military Veterans Causes, Symptoms, and Steps to Recovery

on Tuesday, 22 August 2017. Posted in News

Soldier with therapist

For all too many veterans, returning from military service means coping with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You may be having a hard time readjusting to life out of the military. Or you may constantly be feeling on edge, emotionally numb and disconnected, or close to panicking or exploding. But no matter how long the V.A. wait times, or how isolated or emotionally cut off from others you feel, it’s important to know that you’re not alone and there are plenty of things you can do to start feeling better. These steps can help you learn to deal with nightmares and flashbacks, cope with feelings of depression, anxiety or guilt, and regain your sense of control.

What causes PTSD in veterans? Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sometimes known as shell shock or combat stress, occurs after you experience severe trauma or a life-threatening event. It’s normal for your mind and body to be in shock after such an event, but this normal response becomes PTSD when your nervous system gets “stuck.”

Your nervous system has two automatic or reflexive ways of responding to stressful events:
Mobilization, or fight-or-flight, occurs when you need to defend yourself or survive the danger of a combat situation. Your heart pounds faster, your blood pressure rises, and your muscles tighten, increasing your strength and reaction speed. Once the danger has passed, your nervous system calms your body, lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, and winding back down to its normal balance.

Immobilization occurs when you’ve experienced too much stress in a situation and even though the danger has passed, you find yourself “stuck.” Your nervous system is unable to return to its normal state of balance and you’re unable to move on from the event. This is PTSD.

Recovering from PTSD involves transitioning out of the mental and emotional war zone you’re still living in and helping your nervous system become "unstuck."

Who Is This Veteran? Senior Chief Abbey Lehtinen Tells Her Story

on Saturday, 29 June 2019.

abbey L

According to the U.S. Veteran’s Administration, a little less than 10 percent of the U.S. population are military veterans. Of those, around 90 percent are males and 10 percent are females. About 30 percent of veterans are minorities.

Veterans live among us, all over the nation. Although I live in an area near a major military installation, I am still amazed at the number of veterans I meet in the community, many of whom we would never know have worn the cloth of our nation.

To me, a veteran is someone who has been willing to sacrifice their life, to serve a greater purpose; to protect the American way of life, our values and our future. Many veterans I meet have taken this deep commitment to service with them, even after they leave the military. Many veterans serve voluntarily in their communities, to help those in need. This service seems to be deeply engrained in their moral compass.

I joined the Navy in 1998, not only to serve my country, but also to carry on a tradition in my family. My father, and several of his brothers, served in the military during conflicts in Vietnam and Korea. He and one brother volunteered for the Army, during Vietnam, and two of my uncles served in the Marine Corps and Air Force during Korea. I never met my oldest uncle George, an Air Force veteran, whose plane was lost at sea off the coast of Korea. His remains were never recovered.