Veteran’s Center here to help Published Jan. 23, 2015 By Airman 1st Class David Bernal Del Agua 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- The Wichita Vet Center's mission objective is clear: serve veterans and their families by providing a continuum of quality care that adds value for them and their communities. The challenge is to educate veterans to not be afraid to ask for the benefits and services available to them. Veterans who come to the Vet Center and remain for reintegration counseling demonstrate increased understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder, relationships and other related life challenges," said Tim Hamilton, veteran outreach specialist. "They typically show gradual, but continued improvement with coping skills and strategies which makes for much less anxiety, reactivity, and issues with anger." The center welcomes back war veterans with honor by providing readjustment services, while also assisting them and their family members to a successful post-war adjustment in their communities. "Everyone reacts differently when we deploy to a warzone," said Master Sgt. Ricky Longnecker, 22nd Security Forces Squadron first sergeant. "We have all seen different things and done different things. To me, the most effective way to get back to normal when we come back is to reach out and seek help with any issues you may have." Helping an Airman after a deployment gave him a better understanding of how counseling can help, said Longnecker. "I fell in love with being a first sergeant after I helped a returning deployer who was struggling with reintegration into the work place and their family," said Longnecker. "Counseling put her on track and now she's a fully active member of our Air Force once again. I am a big fan of counseling or any services that offer help to our Airmen." The vet center offers other different types of counseling such as readjustment, individual, group, marriage, family and military sexual trauma counseling. "I believe this vet center is extremely useful because the number of services they offer add to our toolbox," said Longnecker. "I think anyone who wears the uniform can benefit from what they have to offer." Veterans are encouraged to stop by the center to talk about things they might need help with. "As a veteran, I feel very privileged and honored to be able to serve those who were put in harm's way," said Tim Hamilton, veteran outreach specialist. "They were willing to go the distance so that this country could continue with our freedoms." If you or someone you know could use the Wichita Vet Center, you can call them at (316) 265-0889, visit the website at www.va.gov/rcs, or go to their office at 251 N. Water St. in Wichita, Kansas.