- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says it will open a Vet Center in Helena in the fall.

VA officials said in a statement Tuesday that the center will provide counseling to veterans and active-duty military, including National Guard and Reserve personnel, who have served in combat or experienced sexual trauma while in service.

It also will provide services to military families, such as counseling for family members of soldiers who died while on active duty.

Sen. Jon Tester’s office says vet center services include mental health screenings, suicide prevention, drug and alcohol assistance, employment assistance and education training.

The Montana Democrat says the centers play a critical role for military and their families.

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke also praised the VA announcement.

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