BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) — “The transition, the reintegration back into the civilian world is challenging,” Joe Aulik, Director of Brown County Veteran Services told Local 5 Tuesday.
The office can connect returning troops with resources like free counseling.
“We encourage them [veterans] to call our office and reach out to us so we can hook out those resources,” Aulik said, “and if there are any other benefits that they’re entitled to, then we’d want to connect them with those benefits.”
In recent weeks, with the situation in Afghanistan making headlines, calls to the office have increased.
“It’s very disturbing, what we’re watching,” Aulik said. “It’s angering the veteran community.”
With troops officially and completely out of Afghanistan, they’re expecting more veterans to return to the area in need of services.
“When you get deployed three or four or five times, physically and mentally it’s very destructive to the body,” Aulik said.
Aulik told Local 5 that he encourages any veteran to reach out to his office as soon as possible because there’s nothing wrong with asking for help.
“It’s benefits that they’re entitled to,” he said. “That they earned. It’s not a weak[ness], it’s actually a strength to do that [reach out].”
Connecting with those resources sooner rather than later can help prevent crises.
“Five to 10 years post-service is when we see the crisis,” Aulik said. “Either they’re coming into the office or they’re ending up with law enforcement engagement, and we identify them then, and we get them help, and it improves the quality of their life when they reach out to us.”