Oregon Stands with Afghanistan War Veterans, Service Members


Numerous State, Federal Resources Available to Help Vets in Crisis.

The rapid fall of the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan and the swift resurgence of the Taliban in the wake of the withdrawal of American armed forces has alarmed and disturbed many of those who viewed the events through their television screens in recent weeks.

But, for the millions of veterans who served in the 20-year war, as well as their loved ones, survivors, and the veterans and refugees of other conflicts, the events may have resurfaced a broad range of emotions, from pain and hopelessness to anger and disillusionment.

“I share the heartbreak and concern being expressed across the country by veterans who served for nearly two decades in the Middle East,” said Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director and Army veteran Kelly Fitzpatrick. 

“The immediate and swift insurgence of the Taliban following the withdrawal of American troops in Afghanistan has struck a chord among our nation’s service members who served in Afghanistan and other wars alike.”

ODVA, along with many partnering organizations and individual veterans and groups, want to help those who are in need during this difficult time. 

Oregon has a strong network of Veteran Service Offices across every county and on some Tribal lands. They are available to help veterans access earned benefits and behavioral health resources that can help them and their loved ones. These VSOs also act as local veteran advocates to facilitate and connect veteran community support where federal and state programs can’t provide services. 

Those needing immediate support — or just someone to talk to who understands — are encouraged to call the free and confidential Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1), text the crisis line at 838255, or chat online at the Veterans Crisis Line.

 “Now more than ever is the time to rally together — reach out for a buddy check,” Fitzpatrick said. “Reach out for services. Reach out for help. Thank you for your service and continued sacrifice in the time when our country needed it most. 

“We are all forever in your debt. Because of that debt, I ask that you please reach for help if you need it. You are not alone.”

Federal and State Behavioral Health Resources for Veterans

ODVA Resources

Download a Veteran Behavioral Health Resource flyer with listings of federal and state behavioral health service providers and resources.

VA Resources

The federal VA consolidated a number of useful resources for veterans who may need assistance in coping with current events.  Read: Afghanistan: Let’s Talk About It

Vet Centers

Community-Based Outpatient Clinics

Licensed Behavioral Health Providers

These organizations and providers may require appointments or referrals in order to receive services. In some cases, veterans may be billed (or have insurance billed) for services. Additionally, not all providers serve all eras of veterans (ex: Returning Veterans Project and Vet Centers). While there are more licensed behavioral health providers in Oregon than those listed below, the clinics listed have veterans on staff or have staff trained in military cultural competency.

Additional Resources

Contact ODVA

Visit ODVA online to find out more about your federal and state veteran benefits and special programs.

About Author

Tyler Francke is the Community and Media Relations Coordinator with the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs.

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