Oregon has over 331,000 residents in the state who are military veterans, and over 43,000 of them live in Portland and within Multnomah County. A large community of vets means a number of programs within the community as well as assistance programs at the state and federal level for those who have served. Portland vets may be eligible for assistance with housing, health care, tax breaks, and counseling services. Community groups and organizations who support veterans also offer ways to connect and get involved, stay fit, and learn something new through informational seminars. In this article, we’ll summarize some of the best resources in the Portland area and throughout the state who can help access benefits and provide services to veterans.
The VA Portland Health Care System is the medical facility responsible for providing care to over 88,000 veterans in the service area, including Portland vets. The facility offers a full continuum of care to patients, including inpatient, outpatient, long-term and emergency care. Located at 3710 SW U.S. Veterans Hospital Road, with the primary care center right across the street, the medical facility is available by appointment and on an emergency basis.
The Portland Regional Benefits Center has knowledgeable staff who are able to help veterans access their full scope of benefits. Assistance is available for both veterans and surviving spouses and loved ones. Make an appointment to discuss housing, home loans, health care, education, burials and memorials, and other programs available to retired service members.
The Multnomah County Veterans Service Office, located at 421 SW Oak Street, also has a dedicated staff team who offers free consultations and services to vets to help them obtain all of their available benefits. They can also help with filing claims and appeals, representing veterans at hearings, and recovering lost military records.
The Oregon Department of Veteran’s Affairs helps to administer all of the state and federal veterans benefit programs throughout the state. The department also administers care at the two state veteran’s long-term care residential homes, publishes the free Veterans Benefit magazine, and assists vets with frequently asked questions on all available programs through their website.
Veterans of Foreign Wars is a retired military service organization with three local posts in Portland. Service Officers based at each post are available to advocate and assist vets with obtaining benefits and disputing claims, and can also help surviving spouses or dependents at no charge.
The organization also offers a unique opportunity to meet other veterans in the community and participate in fun, social events like karaoke, game nights, barbecues and more. Explore the events calendar at your local post for more information.
Depression and PTSD are a reality for many vets, especially men who served in active-duty wartime. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill chapter in Multnomah County hosts regular support group meetings for veterans to offer comfort and support during difficult times. Veterans also have continual access to the Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline by dialing 1-800-273-8255 at any time of the day or night for someone to talk to.
For over 40 years the Ross Hollywood Chapel has been hosting the Veterans Day Parade in Portland. The event happens each November on the holiday and features local school, community, and businesses groups who wish to honor veterans, as well as retired service men and women from every branch of the armed forces. For more information, or to participate in the event this year, visit the website.
For more information on the Aid & Attendance Benefit and to learn how it can help pay for assisted living, please visit VeteranAid.org.
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