Veterans resource fair shares Redstone services
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Rep. Dale Strong talks with Resource Fair participants Jim Wesser and Bryan Copeland. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL
Veterans resource fair shares Redstone services
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Participants in the Resource Fair held Nov. 13 at the Huntsville VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinic include, from left, Bryan Copeland, Redstone community readiness and resilience integrator; Gregg DeBoer, Huntsville VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinic patient advocate; and Jim Wesser, Redstone employee assistance program coordinator. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

Through Department of Veterans Affairs Resource Fairs, veterans can access information about support, services and resources. The information is tailored to meet the needs of veterans, with topics ranging from VA services to support available through local organizations.

The Garrison’s Army Substance Abuse Program team participated in a Resource Fair hosted by the Huntsville Veterans Affairs Community-Based Outpatient Clinic on Nov. 13.

Employee Assistance Program coordinator Jim Wesser and Community Readiness and Resilience integrator Bryan Copeland supported the event with a resource table that included information on the Army Substance Abuse Program on Redstone Arsenal.

The Army Substance Abuse Program is free for qualified participants, including DOD civilians, military and DOD civilian retirees, and active-duty military members and their families; and everything is confidential.

Huntsville VA CBOC patient advocate Gregg DeBoer, who coordinated the event, said the resource fairs are to help veterans connect with services that meet their needs.

“The resource fairs are so important for veterans because it gives them the opportunity to learn more about services and resources available to them in their community. Our team is honored to be able to provide veterans with resources in a way that will be most impactful to them,” DeBoer said. “It was important that we include resources from Redstone Arsenal as part of this event because many of the veterans we provide care for have a connection to the installation. We want to make sure our veterans are aware of every resource that is available to them.”

During the half-day event, participants had an opportunity to pick up information about enrollment in VA health care, mental health resources, health care sources, and educational benefits.

Copeland and Wesser, both veterans, said having an opportunity to reach out and help other veterans was significant for them.

“We saw about 400 people at the event,” Wesser said. “We gave out information about the Substance Abuse Program on Redstone during the resource fair that can be of use to the veteran community. Our team participated in the resource fair to bring awareness to the veteran community that we are a resource for our veterans with substance misuse and abuse issues. I think that this resource fair was great for not only the veterans that we serve, but also for the other vendors that were there. It was a fantastic way to connect and start relationships with them, and for the ASAP team it was a great way to gain additional resources that we can pass on to our client base should we need to. It was a win-win for everyone that attended the resource fair.”

Copeland also shared the importance of Redstone Arsenal’s participation at the community event.

“Resource fairs like this help the VA support the unique needs of veterans within the local communities by connecting them with the resources that matter to them the most,” Copeland said. “I’m a veteran and want to be well-informed about all services that are available to me. I’m glad Redstone Arsenal providers were asked to be a part of this event. In addition to learning about support services, our participating in this resource fair provides us a great opportunity to connect and interact with other providers. We are ready to support wherever we’re needed, whether it be on the installation or in the local community. We’re eager to make those connections. Teamwork makes the dream work.

For more information about the Army Substance Abuse Program on Redstone, call 256-313-6255.