Veterans crisis center opens in Arbutus

The American Legion is hoping to help veterans in response to the audits revealing months-long wait times for veterans in need of healthcare. The American Legion is opening a command crisis center Tuesday at Post 109 on Sulpher Spring Road in Arbutus.

Veterans Monday shared their stories of issues with the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System at a town hall meeting.

"Veterans have been waiting a long time and they’ve been going to the V.A. to get those benefits and services they deserve and that’s not been happening the way it should happen,” Verna Jones, director of the Legion’s veterans affairs and rehabilitation division, said.  So we're going to bring all those services under one roof."

Vets will be offered a wide array of services at the center including counseling from the Red Cross and the opportunity to file claims and apply for benefits.

They will be open to assist vets all week: Tuesday noon to 8 p.m., Wednesday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday 8 a.m. to noon.

The center is located at 1610 Sulphur Spring Road in Arbutus, Maryland. 

More from Jones: 

VA recently released a nationwide access audit of wait-times at more than 700 of its medical facilities. The VA investigation showed that of the more than 55,000 medical appointment scheduled at the Baltimore VA Medical Center, 6,500 were scheduled more than 30 days ago and nearly 2,000 of them were scheduled 61 to 90 days ago. The American Legion is sending a team to help these individuals who have waited so long to gain access to their VA health care. Since June, The American Legion, with help from the VA and other organizations, has operated week-long crisis centers for veterans and family members in Phoenix, Fayetteville, N.C., El Paso, Texas, St. Louis, MO, and Fort Collins, Colo.

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