[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                               November 13, 2009
Observances

Disability Awareness Employment Month guest speaker provides vets support

By Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

Military personnel demobilizing at Fort McCoy after an overseas deployment are welcomed home with readjustment services provided by people like Dave Hosking of the Veterans Affairs Vet Center in Madison, Wis.

Photo: Dave Hosking of the Veterans Affairs Vet Center tells attendees at the Fort McCoy Disability Awareness Employment Month event about the services his organization offers veterans. (Photo by Val Hyde)
Dave Hosking of the Veterans Affairs Vet Center tells attendees at the Fort McCoy Disability Awareness Employment Month event about the services his organization offers veterans.
(Photo by Val Hyde)

Hosking, a readjustment counseling technician, told attendees about the services his office offers during an Oct. 22 Disability Awareness Employment Month observance at Fort McCoy.

The veteran of Vietnam and Operation Iraqi Freedom campaigns said if someone will stop long enough to talk to him about veterans he will stop to talk to them.

“I’m proud to be a veteran,” Hosking said. “The Vet Centers serve veterans who served in combat zones or family members of that veteran.”

The centers offer individual, group, family and marital counseling, he said. All the information veterans provide is kept strictly confidential. Hosking said he also helps inform veterans of all of the services they’ve earned and deserve so they can readjust to civilian society.

“Counseling is much like getting a flu shot,” Hosking said. “We take care of ourselves physically or mentally so we can take care of our loved ones when we return.”

The services help veterans by changing processes, or getting rid of memories, habits or other past traditions. Hosking said he has gathered information and contact points to help all veterans, including those with mental or physical disabilities, find the assistance they need to get on with their lives, be it in the civilian sector or to prepare for a future, successful deployment.

The Wisconsin Department of Veteran Services (DVA) also is working to establish outreach centers so care is available closer to veterans.

Hosking said for more information Wisconsin veterans should see their county veterans service officers, whose contact information is available in local phone books or at the Web site http://dva.state.wi.us/.

Additional information about the Madison Vet Center is available by calling 608-264-5342.

For more information about readjustment counseling services call 800-905-4675 or for information about federal DVA telephone assistance services call 800-827-1000. Information about DVA services/programs also is available at the Web site http://www.va.gov.

Carolyn Becks of the Army Reserve Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Office at Fort McCoy said Disability Awareness Employment Month celebrates the theme of expectations and opportunities, which lead to full participation in the work force.

Blaine Markuson, acting EEO director at Fort McCoy, said the United States has come far beyond the time in the 1800s when tickets were sold to gain access to and see people in mental institutions or in the early 1900s when the state of Indiana forbid disabled people to have children.

Federal laws, including the 1990s Americans with Disability Act, have helped disabled people become integrated into the work force, he said.

Lt. Col. Annie Jackson, Fort McCoy deputy garrison commander, said Fort McCoy is creating a workplace that includes a diversity of workers, including those with disabilities.

This helps the installation recruit and retain an inclusive work force that looks much like the customers it is serving, she said, and provides the best and brightest employees to serve its customers.

 

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