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Concerning The DVOP/LVER Program and The Veterans Employment & Training Service (VETS) Before the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity Committee on Veterans’ Affairs United States House of Representatives

October 25, 2007

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) has repeatedly advocated the “wellness” model as the paradigm toward which all of the programs, benefits, and services for should be aimed. What this means is that it is the duty of the people of the United States, through our government institutions and with our community resources, to do everything possible to restore the men and women who have placed their lives on the line in the common defense to the highest degree of autonomy and functioning possible following that military service.

Said another way, all of us should be using a “holistic” view of the physiological, neuro-psychiatric, and psycho-social aspects of health of all returning veterans, but particularly disabled veterans. The ‘litmus test’ of achieving the highest degree of “wellness” possible for veterans of working age is the ability to obtain and sustain meaningful employment.

While VVA still believes that the Nation’s health care system for veterans is still under-funded, despite strong increases this year, and that the organizational capacity of the VHA is not yet adequate to meet the full range of legitimate needs of the eligible veterans’ population, the simple fact is that we as a Nation do spend billions every year on health care, readjustment counseling, vocational rehabilitation, educational benefits, PTSD treatment, substance abuse treatment, and numerous other programs designed to assist veterans.  However, if the veteran is not assisted to obtain and sustain meaningful employment, then there is no “payoff” for the individual or for the Nation. 

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