The Pima County region of Arizona, which includes Tucson, is home to close to 88,000 U.S. military veterans, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The Tucson area offers a variety of federal and state government programs that can benefit those that served, especially senior vets that are 65 years of age or older. Services include financial assistance, housing programs, educational tuition deductions, rehabilitative care, and much more. This guide provides an overview of the many services and programs available for vets that reside within the Tucson area.
The Southern Arizona VA Health Care System (SAVAHCS) provides specialized programs to help vets services of which include a rehabilitation center, a community living center, and respite care. The medical center provides services to more than 171,000 veterans within several counties in the southern region of Arizona as well as a portion of western New Mexico. The medical center is located at 3601 South 6th Avenue and is easily accessible with Sun Tran Buses or the Van Tran service.
Old Pueblo Community Services (OPCS) administers Veterans Assistance Programs in conjunction with joint efforts from other state and federal organizations including the Veterans Administration and the City of Tucson. Services include transitional housing assistance for those that served and are having difficulties integrating back into the community. Other programs include rehabilitative care and community services referrals.
Resources at the state level that can benefit Tucson veterans include programs administered by the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services. Features include getting assistance from benefits counselors to help complete applications for obtaining benefits or to receive records and documents. Additional programs include educational assistance, fiduciary services, veteran driver licenses, and the gold star military medal. A full listing of other support services is listed on their resource page.
The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans provides free assistance and support services to vets seven days a week, around-the-clock, 24 hours a day. Immediate help is available for homeless vets or those that may become homeless. Staff will work directly with vets by referring them to a local VA facility that administers services and programs. The program helps vets by providing housing assistance, medical care, and community job services.
National service support organizations that have local chapters in Arizona include the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), which has five posts in the Tucson area of the state. Each VFW post may sponsor a variety of social activities and events that vets can attend and enjoy. Membership provides additional benefits including special discounts on a selection of services and retail purchases. Perks include access to travel services, financial services, medical services, insurance, and more.
The American Legion has 10 chapter posts located within a 20-mile radius of the Tucson metro area. A variety of supportive services is included with membership to the American Legion. Benefits include career assistance, community support, continuing education, financial services, and the organization’s homeless veteran outreach program.
Tucson area vets are honored each year with a traditional Veterans Day Parade in November. The event is sponsored by local organizations including the Morgan McDermott American Legion Post No. 7 along with the added support provided by area merchants and members of the community. Those individuals that are interested in volunteering for the next upcoming parade can complete the online form to express interest in helping out during the event.
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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