State commission aims to help veterans

State commission aims to help veterans

Alabama ranks third in the nation for the number of veterans deployed to support the global war on terrorism. More than 30,000 soldiers have been sent overseas. The state is now working on ways to better serve those soldiers and other veterans.

James Crowe served in the military for 18 years. He's now serving veterans in need at the Disabled American Veterans Post in Dothan. “They’re begging for assistance and you just got to dig deep enough to find out what kind of assistance they need,"said Crowe

From homelessness to healthcare, the issues veterans face once returning home from service varies. At the DAV they try to help as much as they can, but as a local volunteer agency their services can only go so far. "You can't even begin to comprehend the toll it takes on a veteran or a veteran's family. The stress level is astronomical,” continued Crowe.

Governor Robert Bentley is forming the Alabama Executive Veterans Network or AlaVetNet to do more. It’s a commission with the goal to better serve veterans and their families. Crowe said a commission like this is long overdue. "This is something that should have been recognized many years ago. Alabama has one of the largetNational Guard and Reserve forces in the country. That should have opened someone's eyes then.  "

The commission will focus on education, employment, healthcare, and homelessness. It will consist of several state agencies like the Department of Public Health, the National Guard, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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