BOISE, Idaho — The Boise Vet Center turned 40 today, and United States Military veterans and their families gathered for a flag posting ceremony and potluck to celebrate.
Established by Congress in 1979 for Vietnam veterans, health services at Boise's vet center extended to all war zone vets in 1996. Since then, they've expanded counseling for victims of military sexual harassment and assault, service for drone operators, added a call center, and extended bereavement counseling for family members of vets who died in active duty.
"We've really evolved it's been really kind of awesome," said Christina Pollock, Director, Boise Vet Center.
Boise's Vet Center is a separate but related resource to the Boise VA Medical Center.
"So when we started-- way back 40 years ago-- it was the Vietnam veterans looking for something else. So now, we see all branch of service, all eras of combat, um hostile, we've branched out our services to a whole bunch of different things," said Pollock.
Aimed at helping combat veterans with post-war adjustment to civilian life, the vast majority of staff are veterans themselves.
"This place saved me. In more ways than I can count," said Tom Junier, Combat Veteran, U.S. Military.