GDVS opens Women Vet­er­ans Of­fice

Calhoun Times - - FRONT PAGE -

the Women Vet­er­ans Of­fice will fo­cus full-time on women vet­er­ans’ is­sues across the state.

One of Brooks’ pri­mary re­spon­si­bil­i­ties is in­form­ing Ge­or­gia’s women vet­er­ans of the avail­abil­ity of ben­e­fits and as­sis­tance that they may be un­aware of. This will in­clude ed­u­cat­ing and work­ing with GDVS field ser­vice of­fi­cers to cre­ate a net­work of sup­port for women vet­er­ans’ is­sues.

Brooks will pro­vide di­rect as­sis­tance to women vet­er­ans, in­clud­ing fil­ing ben­e­fits claims, pro­vid­ing coun­sel­ing for mil­i­tary sex­ual trauma, and host­ing pro­grams for women vet­er­ans around the state. She will as­sist women vet­er­ans in con­nect­ing with re­sources avail­able at both fed­eral and state lev­els, in­clud­ing pro­grams of­fered by the U. S. De­part­ment of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs (VA).

The Women Vet­er­ans Of­fice is also tasked with work­ing with state vet­er­ans treat­ment courts. These courts are mod­eled on drug treat­ment and men­tal health courts, pro­vid­ing an al­ter­na­tive treat­ment plan for vet­er­ans charged with felony and mis­de­meanor of­fenses.

“Veda’s background in so­cial work and ex­pe­ri­ence in as­sist­ing with women’s is­sues make her the per­fect choice for this po­si­tion,” said GDVS As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Ge­orge Canav­ag­gio. “Her tech­ni­cal knowl­edge of VA sys­tems and pro­cesses and her re­la­tion­ships with key VA per­son­nel will be a ma­jor ben­e­fit for our women vet­er­ans.

Born in Comp­ton, Calif., Brooks is the fifth of six chil­dren. She served 15 years in the U.S. Army, in­clud­ing a de­ploy­ment with the 2nd Ar­mor Di­vi­sion as a com­bat medic dur­ing Desert Storm.

Fol­low­ing her re­tire­ment, she moved to Flor­ida to pur­sue a de­gree in so­cial work from the Univer­sity of West Flor­ida. Brooks re­turned to Cal­i­for­nia with her de­gree to work for the Cal­vary Chris­tian Cen­ter as the Out­reach Di­rec­tor. Her re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in­cluded work­ing with home­less vet­er­ans and as­sist­ing vet­er­ans tran­si­tion­ing from prison or re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­grams

“It’s great to be here work­ing with Ge­or­gia’s women vet­er­ans. Serv­ing vet­er­ans like this has al­ways been a pas­sion of mine,” said Brooks. “I’ve been dream­ing about hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to work col­lec­tively and di­rectly with women vet­er­ans.”

Brooks joined the GDVS in Au­gust of 2014 as a Vet­er­ans Field Ser­vice Of­fi­cer in the de­part­ment’s New­nan of­fice. In 2015, Brooks joined the GDVS Ap­peals di­vi­sion and served as the de­part­ment’s Amer­i­can Le­gion ser­vice of­fi­cer.

Women vet­er­ans in need of as­sis­tance can con­tact Brooks at vbrooks1@vs.state.ga.us or by call­ing 404-656-5893. The Women Vet­er­ans Of­fice is open Mon­day through Fri­days from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (ex­cept state hol­i­days).

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